“[I]t was a ridiculous, amazing thing to do, and once in a while, it’s good to be ridiculous and amazing.” — Cassie Beasley, Circus Mirandus
“Circus Mirandus” Review
This post may contain spoilers.
Circus Mirandus is a fantasy story aimed at children, mostly around the middle school age. Nevertheless, it involved a magical circus, prompting me to pick it up and read it within a few short days.
The story follows young Micah, a ten-year-old who believes in magic thanks to the wonderful stories his Grandpa Ephraim tells him about the Circus Mirandus. The circus was a haven for children who believed in magic, a safe place for them to explore and marvel at the wonders the performers acted for them. One such performer was the Man Who Bends Light… or, as Ephraim names him, the Lightbender. The Lightbender is an illusionist, taking children on fantastic journeys to all corners of the earth, and found young Ephraim special enough to promise him a miracle within his power.
It’s years later when Ephraim is terminally ill that he asks for his miracle to be granted. The Lightbender, however, feels as if he cannot grant it.
Micah, along with his friend Jenny, refuses to accept that answer and journeys to find the circus himself to make the Lightbender keep his promise. Micah believes that the miracle his grandpa had asked for was to cure him, yet Ephraim had a much better miracle in mind…
The story itself goes back and forth between points of view, including Micha’s, young Ephraim’s, and the Lightbender. Two to three timelines weave themselves together to fill out the novel, the prose showing even the most dislikable characters in an understanding light by the end of it. The characters’ developments were one of my favorite parts of this story — even minor characters had their own agendas rather than any of them feeling like cardboard caricatures.
My other favorite aspect of this novel was the magic, of course. Following along with the descriptions of the people and acts of the circus gave me a sense of excitement and even nostalgia for my childhood.
Being catered to children, Circus Mirandus was a light read for me, but I nevertheless enjoyed every chapter.
“Circus Mirandus” gets a 4 out of 5 stars.