At first you think this is a story about the circus. Then you think it is about a contest between two skilled competitors. But it's about magic. And relationships. And so much more. And it's beautifully written. Don't go into this book expecting action--it's a slow start. Allow the gorgeous descriptions to fill your imagination. Delight in the details. In fact, read this book, then read it again. The seemingly loose plot threads tie together at the end and give you the beautiful present that is this book.