I recently finished reading Erin Morgenstern's, "The Night Circus," and I can't recommend it enough. The story follows two young magicians (Celia and Marco) on a magical tour of the world in the fabled Le Cirque De Reves (Circus of Dreams), where the two are engaged in a perpetual exhibition/duel of their magical abilities.
Morgenstern paints such a vivid and fanciful picture of the black and white circus, that I found myself wishing that it was real. I also found myself wishing that this book would be made into a movie. Apparently, Summit has picked up film rights, I hope they do it some justice (the Twilight series was their doing, so I'm feeling some trepidation on that front). I fell in love with the characters. I cried when one of them died, smiled when two of them were born, and I rooted for the magicians in love.
"The Night Circus" has such broad appeal with its dark elements; Prospero the magician teaches his young daughter to heal herself with magic by slitting the tops of her fingers open, and its romantic side, which allows us to peer into a crowded ballroom as Marco grasps Celia in her color-changing gown for a lustful kiss.
This book won't disappoint. If it takes you more than four days to read, I will be surprised (I found myself stealing time to read every chance I could).