anne yvonne gilbert’s night circus illustrations

The Books Illustrated edition of The Night Circus has been coming together more quickly than I could have imagined and it has been astonishing watching their entire team, especially Anne Yvonne Gilbert, elevate this story into a stunning piece of art. I am continually blown away by Yvonne’s ability to layer so many elements and moments into single images, with so much texture and expression and detail. They are truly magical.

One of my favorite parts of this process has been seeing Yvonne’s initial sketches to get a glimpse of how she begins to conjure all of these layers. It’s like getting to peer behind the curtain at a magic trick in progress. Some illustrations have minor adjustments between sketch and final version, others remain almost precisely the same. Below are some side-by-side comparisons. The sketches are already so beautiful and then the colors breathe so much life into everything. I suspect most people would expect a lot of monochrome from an illustrated version of The Night Circus but these are just buzzing with color.

There are so many details that I adore, from Mme. Padva’s jewelry and Tsukiko’s cherry blossoms and Bailey’s dog to the way the circus tents loom in the background of certain images. And of course I am a little bit obsessed with Poppet’s perfect curls and the most delightful squirrels. (I cannot pick a favorite because they are all so wonderful but the Wizard in the Tree is possibly my favorite so far, it is so sumptuous and autumnal.)

There is still more to come, cloud mazes and bottles and other wonderments, and much more information on this very limited edition of The Night Circus can be found at Books Illustrated. You can sign up for their Night Circus newsletter & they post frequent previews on their Instagram.

You can find more of Anne Yvonne Gilbert’s beautiful artwork on her website.

books illustrated’s the night circus

A glimpse inside Books Illustrated‘s beautiful upcoming edition of The Night Circus, illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert.

This is truly a work of art & so much effort is going into it at every level. I am honored and delighted to have my words wrapped in such an astonishing package.

Preorders begin Monday, January 17th. Much more information can be found directly from Books Illustrated both on their website and on Instagram.

illustrated night circus – coming 2022

I am delighted to be able to announce that Books Illustrated will be publishing a very limited edition of The Night Circus in late 2022

This edition will be illustrated by the incredible Anne Yvonne Gilbert, some examples of her work are posted below and I will share future circus illustrations when I’m able to.

For more information and updates you can register for Books Illustrated’s newsletter.

I am over the moon about this and I cannot wait to see how it turns out đŸ–¤

the night circus 10th anniversary

The Night Circus was published ten years ago today. To say this book changed my life would be a massive understatement. It shifted my entire world. I have been to so many places because of this singular imaginary ambulatory location that used to live only in my head and now lives in so many more.

I’ve gotten to meet so many people I wouldn’t have otherwise, including the wonderful Ethan M. Aldridge who has lent his extraordinary talent to commemorate this occasion with the above illustration of Bailey in his tree.

Prints are available on Ethan’s INPRNT store and he has kindly provided a discount code for 20% off valid from 9/13-9/20: RN9RK8 (code works for everything in the store, including The Owl King)

The Out of Print Night Circus collection is 20% off with code NIGHTCIRCUS20 from now until 9/30

Storiarts has added a leather quote bracelet to their Night Circus collection. I pondered the proper quote to wrap around wrists for quite awhile and finally settled on this one:

“We lead strange lives, chasing our dreams around from place to place.”

A sentiment for the rĂªveurs, to carry with you wherever your dreams may lead.

Seasonal le Cirque des RĂªves candles are back for the autumn at Frostbeard Studio

The Night Circus has done a lot in 10 years. It has been published in dozens of languages around the world. It has won awards and been on bestseller lists and it was named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Fantasy Books of All Time.

I don’t tend to post a ton of Night Circus-related stuff on social media but from now until October 13th (which is, of course, the 135th anniversary of opening night of le Cirque des RĂªves) I’ll be posting circusy things on twitter & instagram to celebrate 10 years of Night Circus: old photos and different editions, cocktails and red yarn and whatever other dream dust I can dig up. Do please share your own Night Circus memories or shenanigans or tattoos or cosplay or cupcakes as well with hashtag #NightCircus10

Thank you seems too small a phrase to encompass ten years worth of gratitude but thank you. Thank you to everyone who put so much work into publishing and promoting. Thank you to librarians and booksellers for championing a strange debut by an unknown author. Thank you to everyone who has turned these pages and found themselves walking through circling paths amongst black-and-white striped tents, where the night air smells of caramel and bonfire smoke.

Thank you for visiting le Cirque des RĂªves.

It has been my honor to share this place with you.

stardust & stories

I keep neglecting the poor blog. It sits here gathering digital dust and I feel bad about it but there is actual dust to be dealt with in my house (most of it is Vesper fuzz) and “update blog” keeps slipping down the to-do list and now here it is September again so I’ve collected a bunch of little things and links and wonders to put here.

The Starless Sea is now available in beautiful new paperback editions in both the US and the UK. Translated editions are beginning to appear in German and Slovak and Spanish and French (I don’t have a copy of the beautiful Italian edition yet) and there are more on the way.

You can get The Starless Sea in hardcover or paperback from bookshop.org & help support indie bookstores, or even better: order directly from your local indie or a far-flung indie, many independent bookstores will ship & stores that I went to on tour back when I still wore shoes and left my house may still have signed copies.

You can still order signed and personalized books from The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts. (Personalized ones will take awhile but they usually have signed copies in stock.)

There’s a list of some of my favorite story-heavy video games over on Penguin UK. (I have been playing a lot of Ghost of Tsushima lately. It has great story structure and also slaughtering Mongols is very therapeutic.)

Paul Semel interviewed me recently about The Starless Sea and also Vesper.

The official playlist for The Starless Sea can be found with explanations for each song choice over here via Largehearted Boy. I went through a lot of different versions through the years it took to write but this is the definitive one.

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi comes out on September 15th and it is a treasure.

Some circusy things as we roll into autumn, which is, of course, circus season:

Le Cirque des RĂªves candles are back at Frostbeard Studio

If you are looking for official Night Circus merchandise there are fantastic collections at both Storiarts and Out of Print

The Night Circus will be 10 years old when autumn rolls around in 2021.

I have no concept of time anymore. There are crows in the yard, too scattered to count, and the air is starting to get that crispness around the edges. The leaves are thinking about falling.

I’m working on something and I’ll need to lock myself away with it soon so I can listen to it whisper. It is currently bits and pieces and cherry blossoms and secret histories and closed doors and lost time. Eventually it will be a book, someday far, far in the future.

I will likely be away from the internet for most of the autumn/winter with occasional photos on Instagram or Vesper’s Instagram or both. Probably both. I will be mostly away from Twitter but if there is anything worth mentioning I will mention it there.

At some point in the foreseeable future this entire website will need a proper dusting and update so it might disappear for a bit and reappear again a short time later, like magic.

It feels like it’s been forever and a day but The Starless Sea came out less than a year ago. Thank you for supporting this book in this long, strange year. Thank you for sharing this story about stories. Thank you for sailing the Starless Sea.

May you always find that which you seek.

signed books now available

I have been trying to figure out a good system for ordering signed, personalized books for years and I finally have one, I am so very grateful to everyone who helped make this happen.

Signed and personalized copies of The Night Circus (in both paperback & hardcover) as well as signed and personalized pre-orders for The Starless Sea are now available from The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts. They will ship internationally.

More information is available over here on their website.