When I think about The Night Circus in years to come, the actual details of the plot will come quite a ways behind images of gardens made of ice, rooms where books become furniture, and a tree with paper leaves set aflame. Reading this is a little bit like dipping a toe into someone's dream, and not just because of fantastical descriptions of cloud mazes and dark rooms of bottled memories. The prose itself is evocative of dreaming, and the atmosphere is never prosaic.
While the main protagonists may not have engaged me as much as more lively yet secondary characters like Poppet, Widget and Bailey did, the romance between Marco and Celia was absolutely beautiful to me. I was always a fan of stories about circuses but this one elevates the setting to, well, a circus of dreams. Fitting, I guess.
Normally, I wouldn't give a story that had better imagery than plot a very good recommendation. I prefer stories that actually move at a brisk pace, rather than pages and pages of poetic description. The Night Circus, however, just does it so well
that I think for the visions of paper animal menageries and mazes made of clouds, I'm willing to give it a four.