When I first heard about Leigh Bardugo’s first Adult Fantasy novel Ninth House, the Ivy League setting at Yale University paired with the author’s name on the cover were enough to convince me of reading it. And, given this information alone, I already would have expected a good story. But Leigh Bardugo adds magic to the College setting, letting Yale’s secret societies seem even more secretly and mysterious. The mention of magic and mysteries in the blurb made me want to read Ninth House even more. In contrast to the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, King of Scars, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, which are all set in the fantastic world of the Grishaverse, Ninth House is a Fantasy novel set in a more realistic but not less creative environment.
“They would ingest a little bit of arsenic every day. It made their skin clear and their eyes bright and they felt wonderful. And all the while they were just drinking poison.“Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo, p.402
“All the strangest things are true.“ (April Genevieve Tucholke, Wink Poppy Midnight)
Some books stay in mind for a long time. I picked this particular one up at Barnes & Noble on Broadway in New York City when I visited NYC with my best friend, Victoria, in June 2017. The story is still in my head, I remember it, I think about it. It still won’t leave, which is proof that I really enjoyed reading it. I bought Wink Poppy Midnight while waiting for Vici getting ready at the hairdresser. She had decided that she was in need of new Highlights. What else could there possibly be worth doing than getting blonde highlights in NYC…
Anyways, while Vici got her hair dyed, I strolled around the near bookstore and found this book. It took me only a few days to read it, though I still was in the most exciting city I’ve ever been to, partly because my flight back home got cancelled and I had to spend ten hours at JFK, alone and bored, because Vici would stay in the US for another two months. I was quite happy to have Wink Poppy Midnight with me because it was a gripping read, which surprised me a bit. Somehow, though it is YA, the story definitely is not mainstream. It is strange, dark and confusing in parts. And Wink Poppy Midnight is one of those books of which I will always know where and when I bought and read them.
“Revenge. Justice. Love. They are the three stories that all other stories are made up of.“ (April Genevieve Tucholke, Wink Poppy Midnight)
„People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.“ (Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus)
This book is best read at night, when everybody else is asleep and flickering candlelight surrounds you. It is best read during nights when you’re just awake enough to stay up reading and just tired enough to get swept away to a world made of dreams, some of which keep balancing on the threatening edge of turning into nightmares.
Le Cirque des Rêves
The Night Circus is about love, friendship, time and magic. But most of all it is about dreams. Dreams that pass by nearly unnoticed as well as dreams that are followed until the edge of the world and the edge of time. It is about people who lead strange, dreamy lives, constantly chasing something that can never be caught.
And the book tells the story of Celia and Marco, two young magicians who are caught in a competition they themselves did not start, who are bound to each other since they have been but children and who are not able to tare this magical bond apart.