This book is an enchantment. From the very start it slowly catches you up in the circus itself. You can never imagine every inch of it, never know it, but you feel like a rêveur yourself, as if you’ve walked through the tents and tried the food and smelt the popcorn and chocolate mice and fire and all the strange perfumes of the circus. I think it’s that, more than anything, that made me love this book so much: I was interested in the fate of Celia and Marco, but mostly because it impacted the circus, and I couldn’t stand the idea of anything bad happening to the circus.
I did get caught up in the other parts of the plot too, don’t get me wrong: I loved the references to Merlin, which sort of clued me in on where certain things were going; I liked a lot of the characters, especially the ones with secrets; I loved all the details, and how they all came together.
Possibly this is not quite a five star book, compared to some of the other books I’ve rated five stars, but it swept me off my feet, so I’m giving it five stars anyway. I found it magical — and I’m keeping a copy around, because I think I’ll reread it someday.