First Lines Friday [9]

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
I've been wanting to read this book for the longest time, and I'm just finally getting to it because it's the book of the month for my school's book club. I've heard some fantastic things about it so far, so I hope I'll enjoy it!

I'm not actually sure if the lines I chose count, because I skipped a few pages of "explanation" before the first "chapter." (That sentence probably won't make any sense to you if you haven't picked up the book for yourself ...)

That aside, I have to apologize for my lack of consistency for these FFF posts. :( I will try my best to get them up, because they really are fun, but be wary that I might will miss a few here and there. :)

THE LINES

The man billed as Prospero the Enchanter receives a fair amount of correspondence via the theater office, but this this is the first envelope addressed to him that contains a suicide not, and it is also the first to arrive carefully pinned to the coat of a five-year-old girl.




THE BOOK


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way--a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a "game" to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved--the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them--are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.

But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.

Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern's spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.

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