I had fun trying to shelve this book because it have everything. Its simply magnificent. For lack of better words, its the combination of The Illusionist, The Prestige, Neil Gaiman's MirrorMask, Cecelia Ahern's Where Rainbows End and the movie version of The Vampire Assistant.I was kept until 3am in the morning and always in a bad mood when someone bothers me. It deeply engrossing, the multiple stories is so melded together that everything seems to fall into places. I inherently despise novels with a lot of characters in it but for this intricate book, every characters had its role and quite unforgettable. The story started with an introduction of the circus, where it came alive only after sunset and the performance is so captivating and descriptive that it painted well in words. In other narration, a little girl came to a magician's office and told him indirectly that she's his daughter. Hector wasn't just any other simple magician, he was actually doing real magic and disguising it under the pretense of a magic trick. Under duress, Celia showed an innate skill of telekinesis. Hector found her to be a great addition as one of the player in a game he wagered against with his rival, Alexander. Alexander meanwhile groomed a boy of nine years old called Marco. Although their mentors had hinted they were preparing for battle, but neither of them get the whole picture nor the rules. So as a center stage, a circus was born and the apprentices found themselves destined to be together again in their magician rivalry. Although it had a indirect timeline, but the story seems to breeze through the whole duration of the time, inserting side stories, people, descriptions and observations. Its very enlightening to read through the book like a maze. It never bores, its multi-genre so its never was all about romance but a marriage of everything. To put it simply, the competition and magic held the upper hand in this book. I even added steampunk as I think the details on the mechanism of the circus is truly technical enough to deserve it. The writing is simply superb. The book is virtually condensed with awesomeness.