The Night Circus

Place Page for The Night Circus

Opportunity Cards:


The Sights of the Circus

The circus paths are many, and tangled like black and white yarn. It can be difficult to find your way. It can be harder still to know where to start.

Set your course

There's enough gossip by the circus gates to spark some ideas.

[This will give you a number of 'Find Me' mementoes. Follow them all to unlock something special.]


The rêveurs of Le Cirque des Rêves

With the circus came travellers. Men and women dressed in black and white, each with a touch of red somewhere about their person. A scarf, a pair of gloves, a hat, a ruby necklace. There's a group of them over by the bonfire, now.

Join them

Aren't you curious to find out who they are, and why they dress to match the circus?


The Pavilion of Memories

This tent is full of bottles, boxes and jars, arranged higgledy-piggledy on tables and shelves. The sign outside invites you to open as many or as few as you wish.

Open a small clear bottle

Friendly, short and round and pleasing to the hand.

Open an etched bottle

Opaque frosted glass, tall and slim, decorated with a pattern of spiralling threads.
To unlock, you need 1 x Piece of Dresden Lace - Ticket to the Second Performance .

Open a heavy black bottle

Large, solid, imposing.
To unlock, you need Rêveur Rank 4.


The Gravedigger

The sign outside invites you to 'Uncover what is Secret'. You duck through the tent flap, but the scene that awaits you the other side is not a tent. You are standing in a midnight garden, a place of shadows and black brambles, thorns and silver-edged leaves.

Look around you

Learn the secret of this gloomy tent.


The Night Sky

They say the Observatory was never part of the circus before it came to Saint Petersburg. But they don't seem to agree which visit it first appeared in.

See the early show

The sign at the entrance promises to show you 'The Intricacies of the Night.'

See the midnight show

The sign at the entrance promises to show you 'The Heart of the Galaxy, and Further.'
To unlock, you need 1 x Antique Glass Beads - Ticket to the Third Performance ,
Rêveur Rank 2

See the late show

The sign at the entrance promises to take you 'Back to When the Universe was Young.' Perhaps this will help take your mind off your sadness? This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x Stone Bottle of Qimiz - Ticket to the Final Performance ,
Rêveur Rank 3
1 x Profound Sorrow


A dazzle of blue

You cannot help but walk past the circus, even though it is only noon, and the gates will not open for half a day. A flash of bright colour by the fence catches your eye.

See what it is

There it is again - a glimpse of blue, brighter than the cloudless sky above you.


Sweet Mechanics

The popcorn vendors and spun-sugar sellers of the circus rely on visible machinery to create their wares. Do such mechanical matters interest you?

Too industrial

No. You would rather buy something beautifully packaged and quite clearly hand-made.

Inspect the sugar-spinner

A tiny pinch of sugar, transformed into an airy, cotton cloud. How do they do it?
To unlock, you need 1 x An Interest in Clockwork .


The Illusionist and the Birds

The Illusionist performs at the centre of a ring of seats, the better to amaze her audience. Her tent is always crowded.

Take a seat

It doesn't matter where you sit. The Illusionist's show is designed to be seen from all angles.


The Stagehand

The Cirque des Rêves has wonders without number, but almost all the staff one sees are performers. This heavyset gentleman looks like a stagehand. He is dressed in a simple white shirt, with black trousers, waistcoat and bowler hat.

Bid the fellow a good evening

One should not interfere with the smooth running of such a place.

Try to get him talking about the circus

Perhaps you might learn something interesting for Mr. Wise.
To unlock, you need 1 x An Interest in Magic
3 x Scrap of Black Rope .


A Parade of Kittens

One of the most popular acts is a troupe of black-and-white kittens that performs tricks. How could anyone resist that?

Join the crowd

Take a few minutes to watch the kittens' antics.

Look more closely

There are a few fully grown cats watching from the shadows. Have you met any of them before? This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x Friendship with a Surly Cat ,
1 x Piece of Dresden Lace - Ticket to the Second Performance .


The Hall of Mirrors

When you enter the Hall of Mirrors, take care. It's very unlucky to get caught between two mirrors. Everyone knows that.

Pass through the Hall

From west to east should be straightforward enough, surely? (A matter of luck: pretty good odds.)

Search for symbols

Are there any to be found here?
To unlock, you need 1 x An Interest in Love .


Why not spend a little time here, getting to know the ways of the Hall? This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need Rêveur Rank 4


Meeting a Well-known Rêveur

You've seen that serene, red-scarfed fellow before, all around the circus. He must spend all his time here. He beckons you over to a fire-juggling show and asks your opinion. You are soon discussing the circus like old friends.

Discuss the beauty of the show

The severe black costumes. The harsh white flame of the burning clubs. Intricate patterns on the retina.

Discuss the deftness of the performers

The show is beautiful, yes. But it is the skill of the performers that you are here to see. That is art.

Ask if he has an interest in clockwork

It is always worth asking. This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x An Interest in Clockwork .


The Lovers

A pair of statues stand on a smoke-wreathed podium between two tall tents. You examine the scene. The woman is captured in a pleading pose, reaching out her striped gloves to a black-suited man. He stands his back to her. Did her wrist move, just a little?

Pass on by

The circus has many temptations, and perhaps your tastes run to the more dramatic.

Watch for a moment

The tableau is both calming and beautiful. And you must know if these are statues or actors. [These are the first of the Living Statues you're looking for. Collect ten Smiles from Living Statues to meet your goal.] (Unlocked with Find Me: The Living Statues 1)


Read the Notebook more closely

A lady in a scarlet scarf gave you her notebook. Letters, postcards, articles cut from newspapers. They chart the circus appearing everywhere from Prague to Lima, from Damascus to Kyoto, from Stockholm to Buenos Aires. What will you read first? (This will choose a storyline for you! But you'll be able to change your mind later if you like.)

A private letter

The handwriting is strong and austere. Letters score the paper like daggers. The words 'magic' and 'illusion' seem to leap off the page.

A newspaper article

'These intricate machines appear to bring dreams literally to life. It seems there is no limit to the possibilities, save imagination itself.'

A pressed rose

A crimson flower, tucked behind a sepia photograph of a child and a cat. Desiccated, delicate, only slightly faded. Even some scent remains, like an old lady's perfume.


A lady with ribbons in her hair

At the contortionist's platform, she stands slightly apart from the crowd. The look on her face speaks of assessment; she hasn't given way to open-mouthed wonder as others have. But she has definitely glanced in your direction once or twice.


Make eye contact with her.


Keep yourself to yourself.


The Cave of Voices

Wait - you stepped into a tent! But here is vast dark space before and above and around you, chilly as a cavern. A distant glimmer of lights above, not quite like stars. A black lake lapping at your feet, stirred by the breeze from outside.

Turn back

The air is sluggish and cold. The edge of the lake is lost in the darkness, but you have a sense of impossible distance. Something is wrong here.

earsmall.png You now have 1 x Degree of Wariness

Walk a little way along the shore

How far does this place go? (A matter of luck: it could go either way.)

Fling a Quartz Sliver into the lake

Will it rise and fly, or sink without trace? This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x Sliver of Quartz , 1 x Piece of Dresden Lace - Ticket to the Second Performance .

Toss a pebble from the shore out into the dark water

Just to hear the splash. This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x Antique Glass Beads - Ticket to the Third Performance.

Toss a Memory Pebble into the lake

Let it sink and be forgotten. This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x Memory Pebble , 1 x Chased Silver Oil Lamp - Ticket to the Fourth Performance .


A Blue and Silent Sunrise

The eastern sky begins to lighten. Soon it will be time for the circus to close. Will it still be here by nightfall?

Play this card if you are ready to leave this performance and try a new one. You will be able to return to the circus at any time.

Linger by the bonfire

It's the centre of the circus, after all.

A last cup of cocoa

Sometimes, it's chilliest just before dawn.

Turn back at the gates for a moment

Spend the last few minutes you have watching the circus settle down to sleep.


The Paper Tigers

This isn't the Big Cats' enclosure, but the sign outside says 'TIGERS'. It's a small tent to be holding tigers.

Look inside

Can there really be tigers here?

Are there symbols to be found here?

They turn up in the strangest places.
Unlocked with An Interest in Love 1


The Ice Garden

An expanse of fresh snow. Flowers and trees sculpted in ice, as clear and delicate as crystal. Silence, apart from the crackle of frost underfoot.

Look around

Be careful not to breathe too warmly on the fragile rose-petals.

Stay awhile

It is very cold in the Ice Garden, but so peaceful away from the crowds. This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need Rêveur Rank 4.

Look for patterns

Here in this frosty garden, there are patterns everywhere. Hopefully the right ones will catch your eye. This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x An Interest in Love ,
1 x Chased Silver Oil Lamp - Ticket to the Fourth Performance .


The Frozen Symphonies

There's a side tent, leading away from the Orchestra of Winds. From outside, you catch a glimpse of glittering towers of ice.

Go inside

Step through the rime-encrusted doorway. Find out what kinds of sculptures these are. (A matter of luck: it could go either way.)


The Coconut-Shy

Three balls, three chances to win…

Throw carefully

Accuracy is the key here. (A matter of luck: it could go either way.)

Throw hard

Forget precision. Force is the answer. (A matter of luck: it could go either way.)


The Clock

Just inside the gates stands the clock, an exquisite counterpoint to the raw power of the cauldron. It's a large wooden edifice, painted black with a pearly face and a gleaming silver pendulum. It's a beautiful piece of work. Visitors stand and watch, waiting for something to happen.

Join the crowd

There are many rêveurs amongst the crowd. It's well-known that the clock changes, ever so slowly, throughout the day.

Examine the clock

It must represent the pinnacle of modern horological art. However does it work? This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x An Interest in Clockwork .


A cup of Russian coffee?

Something rich and strong, to keep the chill from your bones. The coffee sellers discovered it in St Petersburg, where ladies in silver fur hats take delicate sips from small, black-and-white enamelled cups.

Order a cup

Join the crowd around the samovar.

Invite a friend to take coffee with you

Ask a friend who hasn't visited the circus to join you. If they accept your invitation, your own standing amongst the rêveurs will improve. And as your Rêveur Rank rises, new opportunities will unlock for you at the circus.


Be Illuminated

Tell me more about this book…

What is The Night Circus?

A magical love story set to be the publishing sensation of 2011. Click Proceed to find out more…


The Contortionist

The Contortionist does not perform in a tent; she stands on a platform in the open air. Tattooed symbols wind around her milky body. They move as she does, defining each pose in baroque contours.

Watch the show

It is the only one of its kind at the circus.

What is that shape?

Tattooed on her ankle, there. Can you make it out? (Unlocked with An Interest in Love 1)

Watch with an acquaintance

You have introduced a few people to the circus by now. Perhaps one would like to see the Contortionist's show with you?
To unlock, you need Rêveur Rank 4 (you have 1).


A Ride on the Carousel

You find yourself riding a nine-tailed fox of black-lacquered wood. Beside you a gentleman in a red scarf bestrides a pale-feathered gryphon. As you emerge from the last clockwork tunnel, he asks you which beast you would like to ride next time.

The serpent!

The polished silver scales. The darting forked tongue. The slow rhythmic dance of its movement.

The gryphon!

The fierce beak. The detail on the feathers! And how was it made to appear to breathe?

The white lion!

Its mane like a double handful of moonlit cloud! Its quartzy eyes, so fierce, so bright! True, it is not the most elegant creature, but certainly the grandest!

The phoenix-of-clouds!

The story of this one is written in one sentence, around and above and beneath and between its wings and limbs. (Unlocked with Find Me: A Cloud Story 1)

The rabbit!

All these great beasts are very fine. But look at the rabbit's little nose!

Carousels are for children

These mechanisms are all very well to entertain the simple-minded, but those past the age of majority should seek more sophisticated entertainment.

Actually, you are interested in the mechanics

Ask the gentleman which beast would help you learn the most about the clockwork. (Unlocked with An Interest in Clockwork 1)


The Enigmatic Visitor

A man is waiting outside the Fortune-Teller's tent. His eyes are bright, unnaturally so, and in the flickering firelight they're positively unsettling. It's hard to make out features; there's something about his face that makes the eye slide away.

Walk past him

Try to get a closer look. Perhaps you might recognise him? This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x Find Me: The Green-eyed Man.

Speak to him

Why not? He is just another visitor to the circus. He isn't even wearing the red token of a rêveur. This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need Rêveur Rank 5 (you have 2).

This one, again

And again outside the Fortune-Teller's tent. Interesting. This choice is locked for now.
To unlock, you need 1 x Stone Bottle of Qimiz - Ticket to the Final Performance.