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Literary Locations of magical authors

  • Submitted: 7th December 2022

The Circus is in town

December is the time for visiting the theatre or a circus I feel. Something to do with the whole family or a special someone. It’s the buzz, the excitement of wanting to go and join in, the social aspect of it all and spending time in awe.

There are some authors in particular who relish building these magical worlds and magical authors have that special skill of creating illusions and spells in novels to have you captivated this festive season.

The Circus is in town – which authors should you attend the circus with?

The Circus Train Amita Parikh

The Circus Train by Amita Parikh

This circus is set on a train. It’s a travelling circus with the name ‘The Circus of Wonders’ and the world the author captures on paper is very magical indeed. The carriages of the train are covered in wooden panels, some of the cabins are luxury. There is a school room for the children, rooms to practice acrobatics and a large kitchen. The animals travel in special compartments and the train rattles through one European city to the next.

It is war time however so the dangers of the Germans finding them and coming on the train to hunt for any Jews is the dark reality to this circus world but it is a fascinating one regardless.

The Circus Train conspiracy by Edward Marston

The Circus Train Conspiracy by Edward Marston

This novel is again set on a train but the circus is travelling around the North East of England.  Visit Helxam and Corbridge as the train pulls into Newcastle for the performance of them all! The Moscardi Circus has travelled by train for some time around various places performing but the train is not like the Circus Train as it seems rather more ordinary in comparison. The shows are very magical however!

The train also has a few problems as there are accidents, animals escaping at night and the passengers are not in for an easy ride. Edward Marston sets his circus world at a time where trains and the railways were in their early stages of development and so this makes for a fascinating read to understand that world.

Circus of Wonders Elizabeth Macneal

The Circus of Wonders Elizabeth MacNeal

The author opens the book in a coastal village in southern England, where a young girl called Nell lives. She has birthmarks over her skin and so is treated differently so her father sells her as a ‘leopard girl’ to the circus.

The author looks at how the idea of the ‘circus freak’ came to be and it’s a heartbreaking world. Nell is made into the eighth wonder of the world and she is glorified as this object of marvel but the real world is a cruel one and Elizabeth McNeal makes it one you will never forget.

a girl made of air Nydia Hetherington

The Girl Made of Air by Nydia Hetherington

This is the story of The Greatest Funambulist Who Ever Lived…

The author here has recreated the wonder of the circus at Coney Island  – a place which used to be known for its theme parks and circus attractions.

The sense of the circus and the life of those who live it create a world not dissimilar to that of a fairytale. The writing is magical, ethereal and whimsical and the effect is to be enjoyed.

The locations of Coney Island and Manhattan are where the events of the novel take place. Coney Island in particular was described as “Heaven at the end of a subway ride.”

The Night Circus

The Night Circus Erin Morgernsten

No post about circus books can exist without mentioning this one. It’s  magical in every sense of the world and there’s wonders on every page. The images which were conjured into my mind are some of the strongest and most vivid I have ever come across.

This  line still gives me the chills:

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”

It’s a world of illusion, tents containing acts of everything you can imagine. I was immersed into this world so deeply that I often go there in my dreams. Perfect for reading just before Christmas as it contains so much magic!


These authors are some of the most magical out there so get these books on your wish list for Santa!


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