I started out by becoming thoroughly engrossed in this story. I loved the idea of the circus and it being an odd battleground for a contest. The more I read the less I cared about the people involved and the more I came to care about the circus. That should have told me something right there. This really isn't character driven which is a shame as one of the major antagonists was wonderfully written to begin with. It's the rest of the characters that people this tale that I found lacking. That can usually lead to me not liking what I'm reading but in this case it didn't. Mostly because the circus itself seems like the main protagonist and that was surprisingly enough for me to keep reading but not enough to love this book.Ms. Morgenstern does have a way with words and painted some of the scenes perfectly. If she can learn to give her characters more depth I believe she could write some epic fantasy.