I read the night circus years ago and it gave me the same chills as reading Harry Potter for the first time. The descriptions of the magic in this book are unlike anything I have ever read. I wanted to find books like The Night Circus to cure you of your book hangover.
This is a book that I come back to time and time again. It has magic, love, and wonder. While this is technically an adult fantasy book, it is appropriate for teens who love fantasy as well.
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Every word captivated me from beginning to end and I couldn’t put it down. The story was magical- both literally and figuratively and the descriptions are so vivid.
The stage has been set for a magical competition between the pupils of two very powerful magicians. The stage: the night circus. The pupils, a man and a woman, are unsure of the rules, unsure of how to win or when the competition will end. As the competition continues, the opponents fall in love- a situation that only complicates their predicament.
This is magic in a way that I never imagined it before. The story has twists and surprises that left me wondering how I didn’t see what was right there all along.
Books Like The Night Circus
Circus Books Like the Night Circus
This prohibition-era historical fantasy novel was inspired by Moulin Rouge! It’s filled with romance, carnival performers, and a magical community on an island near New York.
Luxe (our Satine) can use her magic to create illusions to give people exactly what they want but what her family needs is money. When Dewey, a time-traveling smuggler, asks her to help him become mayor by pretending to be his fiance, she thinks her prayers are answered.
Until she meets Jamison, a poor commoner with no magic to speak of. They begin an illicit relationship that might spell doom for them all. This YA historical fantasy novel held me captive. It was so original! If you are looking for books like The Night Circus, this is a perfect pick.
When it comes to YA Fantasy books, this one is a classic. The story begins with letters from Scarlett to Legend, the leader of Caraval- a game played once a year in a far-off destination.
Every year, every time it is played, the game is different. Filled with magic and wonder, this destination-based competition is played by Scarlet as she tries to get this year’s prize – her sister Tella – before anyone else can.
There is a love story and magic as the stakes get higher the longer Scarlet plays. This is the first book in three-part series that gets better and more complicated with each new book. If you are looking for books like the Night Circus, this is the perfect choice.
Have you ever loved a book so much that you couldn’t put it down but also didn’t want it to end? That is how I felt about the book!
In 2004 Lara Barnes’s fiancé disappeared on their wedding day. As Lara searches for answers, she starts to unravel a family mystery that goes back to 1925. This book has everything. It’s a dark fantasy filled with mystery, disappearances, and magic. I don’t want to give more detail because I don’t want to spoil any part of this book- it is my favorite fantasy of 2021 so far!
If you are looking for a magical circus, this is a must-read pick from books like The Night Circus.
Rosie and Ivory have grown up in their mother’s circus and are returning to Port’s End. It is a place closest to any home after years of traveling. As the circus prepares for opening night, fundamentalists seek to stop the show from continuing. But, as the show begins, a massive fire strikes the tent and that is only the beginning.
This YA fantasy book is a queer re-telling of Snow White and Rose Red (not to be confused with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). It has been thoroughly reimagined and transformed in this book. It is a must-read for a list of books like The Night Circus
For more circus books like The Night Cirus, Check out this post.
Magic Books Like the Night Circus
I absolutely adored this pick for best fantasy books of 2023 because it’s pure magic at its best. What starts as a historical fiction set in Chicago in the 1930s transforms into a beautiful fantasy about a ballerina, her violin, and the kingdom of death.
When Grace becomes the prima ballerina at The Near North Ballet Company, she is overjoyed that her dream has come true. In accepting this position, she has become a patron of master LaRosa and must move into his mansion.
This Beauty and the Beast retelling is perfect for a list of books like ACOTAR. It is beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking. The writing is lyrical and I savored every minute. It is perfect for anyone who loves to read books like The Night Circus. You will obsess over this haunting pick from ultimate beach reads 2023.
This adorable romance was the perfect post-Halloween read for me. Emmy Harlow must return home to her magical town of Thistle Grove to arbitrate a spell-casting tournament. The winner has control of magic in the town.
Emmy ran away because of a broken heart but now, her heart may be on the mend thanks to the beautiful and powerful Talia. I loved this book. The magical competition in this book made it a must for our list of books like the Night Circus. The Stakes of this game make it perfect for books like The Hunger Games.
Seven families compete every twenty years over control of high magick. When the Blood Moon rises, the blood veil falls and each family chooses one child to compete to the death. The stakes are high and the prize is epic.
I loved this urban fantasy book and it left me simultaneously freaked out and wanting more. The parents in this book are brutal and willing to sacrifice their children willingly. It is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, but, the magical competition in this book makes it perfect for a list of books like The Night Circus. This is one of the must-read young adult fantasy books.
I was in university when this book was published and the first four were sitting on my younger brother’s bookshelf before I picked it up to see what the fuss was about. I read all four books in as many days and was married with a child before the final book was published.
This is the book that introduces us to Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger; our fearless trio. We also meet the other favorite beloved and detested characters that make the Harry Potter book series so special. After all, what would Hogwarts be without Hagrid, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, and Draco Malfoy?
Harry Potter shows up on our list of books like Percy Jackson too! And if you love Harry as we do, check out our 17 Books like Harry Potter for Kids Obsessed with Magic or 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter for Fans of Magic. This magical book was perfect for books like The Night Circus.
If you are interested in starting Harry Potter, head to our guide on the Harry Potter Books in order to get a free printable!
YA Fantasy Romance Books Like the Night Circus
This book has a cult-like following for a reason. The first book in the series is a loose fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in the world of Prythian. Magical creatures, humans, and fae are all prominent in the book.
This is a fast-paced, addicting, fantasy romance series. A love triangle develops by the end of the story and book two is jaw-dropping! This is on its way to becoming a classic from the list of enemies-to-lovers books. You will want to binge this series in one week. We could not leave this epic romance off a list of the best romance novels of all time.
While this book is technically YA, the series itself is definitely steamy and we definitely see this as one of the best fantasy books for adults on the list. If you loved ACOTAR, check out this list of books just like it. Or head over to our guide on all of Sarah J. Maas’s books. But this fantasy romance is a great pick from books like The Night Circus.
This 4 book series is set in the future in a time of disease and war. This series is part twisted fairy tale, part dystopia, and part sci-fi fantasy. If you are looking for books like The Night Circus, this is a great pick.
Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel are re-imagined as you have never seen them before. All of them are smart and strong women far from the helpless damsels in distress we know them to be.
The first book introduces us to Cinder. She is a cyborg (part human, part machine) who lives with her……..you guessed it….. two step-sisters and stepmother.
Louise Le Blanche is a witch, Reid Diggory is a witch hunter, but when they are forced to be married Lou has to keep her identity a secret and try not to fall for her handsome husband. Could you ask for anything more from enemies-to-lovers books? If you love that trope, this pick from books like The Night Circus will not disappoint.
Set in the pre-industrial age in Paris, France, this historical fantasy book is perfect for lovers of YA! It’s got funny, fierce heroines, a steamy love story, and a cast that is actually diverse! I devoured all three witch books in this series of books set in Paris.
More Books By Erin Morgenstern
To say that I was excited about Erin Morgenstern‘s new book might be the understatement of the year. How to describe this book that is an ode to storytelling…..it’s a love story to books, a fantasy within a love story within a fairy tale.
The writing is beautiful- Erin’s signature style of vivid imagery left me completely captivated. I truly loved every minute of this book. It was pointless to predict the story. So, I let it take me away with the lyrical prose. It made our Best Books of 2019 list and I recommend it to anyone that loved The Night Circus. It’s one of my favorite full cast audiobooks as well. If you love magical realism books, this pick is for you.
For more YA Fantasy Books like The Night Cirus, Check out this post.