Author : Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 05/29/18
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.
After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.
The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.
★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆
“‘As fantastical as Caraval might feel, the next five nights are very real.”
Stephanie Garber has flipped the tables on us.
Everything that you thought you knew about Caraval… think again.
Legendary meets us right where Caraval left us and we don’t get much of an ‘intermission’ from the action between one game and the next–which is great news! Tella has been hiding quite a few secrets throughout the duration of Caraval and has been conspiring with a quite mysterious individual about the whereabouts of her mother. This mysterious individual is set on finding the identity of Legend, and much of the novel revolves around this mission, but there is also a larger-picture mission of the game of Caraval this go-around… putting Tella ‘between a rock and a hard place’ when it comes down to ‘crunch time’ at the conclusion of the game.
The magical elements in this novel are just as whimsical as in Caraval.. but in my opinion, even better. Tella has this deck of cards that are much like tarot cards–they each have a character or symbol presented on them that are symbolic of some type of foretold future. And these characters were all strange and magical and had these incredible mini-stories behind them. It was very reminiscent of The Hazel Wood in that sense– you get a story-within-a-story effect of having these “fictional” (or maybe not so fictional) characters.
And oh man, you just thought you loved Scarlett… Tella is such a sassy, fierce little spitfire.
I adore her character!
“Tella often imagined she knew what people thought when they saw her. One look at her honey-blond curls, her girlish smile, and her pretty dresses, coupled with the fact that she liked to enjoy herself, and people dismissed her as a silly girl. Tella might have been many things, but she was far from silly or worthless or whatever labels people liked to affix because a person was young and female. Tella liked to think that was where much of her strength came from.
She was bold. She was brave. She was cunning.
And she was going to come out of this triumphant–no matter the cost.”
I have a two-year-old daughter who, without outside influence, has morphed into this sassy, girly little thing who loved dolls and princesses and all things sparkly. But she is also irrationally independent for her age, loves to play outside, loves learning, and is stubborn to her core. Tella is the epitome of the perfect fictional female character that I would want my daughter to see. Tell shows girls that its okay to be prim, fashionable and girly and at the same time be a stubborn dream-chaser who is fiercely loyal to those she loves, never gives up, and doesn’t let anyone walk all over her. Major hat-tip to Stephanie Garber for creating this fantastic image of fierce (young) womanhood.
And that ending….
Perfection. Absolute Perfection..
I 100% called that ending.. and I was totally okay with that (and that never happens). The theatrics of the entire conclusion of Legendary was phenomenal and I am just dying to get my hands on Finale ASAP.
Thank you to Flatiron Books and Stephanie Garber for providing me with a DRC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.