The following is a brief list of characters I made as I was going through the book with little notes on each. Feel free to comment if you want to expand any of the characters explanations and I will add your input to my list. Book club members brought up that this story had a steampunk, Victorian age feel and held deeper metaphors pertaining to the world. Some suggested comparisons to governments being Alexander and Hector the two men who forced two opponents to fight as if they were the armies fighting a battle they had no choice but to fight.
Also before you get lost in characters, the August book of the month is A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron and I will be posting the review on August 24th with the notes from the group discussion on the 25th.
Celia Bowen – illusionist, mother committed suicide at 5 leaving her as an orphan with her father Hector “Prospero the Enchanter”, specialty tangible manipulation
Marco – adopted by “grey suit”, intangible manipulation, became Chandresh accounting/assistant to keep close to the circus
Isobel – scout for Marco to report back with everything Celia is doing, tarot card reader, in love with Marco
Grey Suit = Alexander – no shadow, adopted and trained Marco to compete with Celia trained by Prosporo the Enchanter
Chandresh Christophe Lefèvre – night circus manager, helps with blueprints and ideas for new tents and enchantments for both Marco and Celia, Marco puts spell on to forget things
Mme. Tante Padva – “Aunt” helps interview and select Celia as the circus illusionist
Penelope Aislin Murray (Poppet) & Winston Aidan Murray (Widget) – twins perform kitten tricks, born minutes apart on opening night of the circus but on two different days, one can see into the future and one can see into the past because of this, Widget takes over Marco’s spot, only two people in the circus that age
Bailey – was dared to sneak into Night Circus, collects Puppets glove as proof, ten years later attends circus grown to look for Puppet (Penelope), runs away from home to follow love, becomes circus manager by choice, takes over Celia’s spot
Miss Tsukiko (“to-see-key-ko”) – contortionist, previous victor in the dual
Friedrick (Herr) Thiessen – clock maker, clock = Van Strown, killed
Tara Burgess – reminds Celia of mother, dies by train, not confirmed but suicide hints, she knew something was off about circus but couldn’t understand “blew her mind”, asked the wrong people the right questions (possibly pushed by grey suit), surviving twin Lainie Burgess
Some of the enchantments: ice garden, paper animals, bonfire = safeguard, protected circus from sickness/aging except twins, breathing carousel animals, black candle wishing tree, train to move circus = no crew, wishing pond, labyrinth maze
Celia vs. Marco lasted over fifteen years, previous challenge lasted 37 years