The Midnight Circus

by Jane Yolen

Welcome to the Midnight Circus—and watch your step. The dark imaginings of fantasy icon Jane Yolen are not for the faint of heart. In these sixteen brilliantly unnerving tales and poems, Central Park becomes a carnival where you can—but probably shouldn’t—transform into a wild beast. The Red Sea will be deadly to cross due to a plague of voracious angels. Meanwhile, the South Pole is no place for even a good man, regardless of whether he is living or dead.

Wicked, solemn, and chilling, the circus is ready for your visit— just don’t arrive late.


“Haunting stories from a modern master.”


“Nebula Award winner Yolen follows How to Fracture a Fairy Tale with another, slightly more sinister collection of delightfully dark fairy tales.”

Publishers Weekly

“If stories are a circus, then Jane Yolen is the ringmaster to rule them all..Always beautiful, dark, and imaginative, but never sentimental, these are fairy tales for a new age.”

San Francisco Book Review

“Overall, I’m as impressed with THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS as I expected to be. Seeing a writer continue to perfect their form is always exciting, and with Yolen, you know you’ll be thrust into worlds known and unknown, leaving the pages a little wiser and a bit further removed from the humdrum happenings of real life.”

Realms and Robots

“A master writer with a prodigious oeuvre and these are some of her best dark stories.”

Nonstop Reader

“As a whole, this collection of a career’s worth of successes is a celebration of an American author that is often times called a modern Hans Christian Andersen.”

Haunted by Deadlines

“These stories chilled me to the bone, and I loved every minute!”

YA Lit Ramblings

"Every story is excellent. I didn't want to stop reading.”


“Each story is a brilliant fairy tale with a rhyme and reason.”

Haunted by Deadlines

“Jane Yolen is the queen of the fairy tale genre and this collection of her previously published stories had everything I have come to expect from a master storyteller.”

Sloth Reads

“A wonderful collection of short stories! Each one is its own self-contained story that is just perfection.”

Ash & Books

“Jane Yolen’s stories are pure magic! They draw you in, beguile your senses, and paint the world in richer hues than you’ve ever seen. Her tales will haunt you in the very best way. I loved every word!”

Sarah Beth Durst, author of Race the Sands

“Look this way, look that; blazing her consummate imagination against the shadows of human sorrow, Jane Yolen has done it again. She has produced a set of spectacles designed to keep us awake in the darkness. THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS delights, confounds, and challenges. We read all the night long; we are not the same come dawn.”

Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and A Wild Winter Swan

“Each deliciously spooky tale in Jane Yolen’s THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS draws readers into fully realized worlds with strong characters who reflect the strengths—and the darkness—in all of us”

Susan Vaught, author of Trigger and Freaks Like Us

“THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS sings with magic, darkness, and wonder—perfect for anyone who has ever loved a fairy tale.”

Megan Spooner, author of the Starbound Trilogy

“Jane Yolen is, simply, a legend. The powerful fairy godmother of every writer working in mythic fantasy today.”

Catherynne M. Valente, author of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own

Awards & Accolades