Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval
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.
I devoured this wonderful, torturous book. And now I don’t know what to do with myself aside from sit here and try and form some semblance of a review.
Friends, if you think you know everything about Caraval, you’d be wrong.
I’m going to keep this review spoiler free, especially as we’re a little ways away from the release, but I’ll just say this took a verrrry unexpected turn and I couldn’t be more thrilled. But a word to the wise (and for those who know me) – I like when books throw punches in your gut and make you doubt everything you thought you knew.
First… a HUGE thank you to the amazing author, Stephanie, for the MS. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude!
Told from Tella’s perspective, Legendary picks up the morning after the first book. We’re thrown into Tella’s world and the consequences she faces after Caraval. And oh, there are plenty. I won’t say much, but she owes a debt to a certain someone, and she’s quickly swept up in a battle between power players.
Let’s just say… Legend has enemies. Someone wants his true identity unmasked, and if Tella doesn’t discover him and hand him over, she’ll lose everything, including her own life.
I knew I would like Tella, especially after what she did in the first book, but I didn’t expect to fall so head-over-heels for this girl. She’s way more complex and brave than she lets on. She’s a character you can root for. There’s much more to her history and past that you don’t get from Scarlett’s POV, and oh my heart broke for her over and over.
This was why love was so dangerous. Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals were as ephemeral as feelings, eventually they would wilt and die, leaving nothing but the thorns.
But perhaps the second best part was the returning characters. Even though this story focuses on Tella, Scarlett’s story isn’t finished. She and Julian are still around, and so are rest of the Caraval crew. And of course, we’re introduced to a new ensemble of characters.
And an entirely new world.
In fact, I daresay this one is even more magical than the last. New settings, new myths come to life. I will say it still felt a bit abstract, which certainly isn’t a bad thing, especially if you like to get lost in your own imagination. The world is limitless here, and there be monsters.
Very dashing monsters, at that. Did I mention this book was hooooot?
For anyone that followed my status updates (and there were plenty – I couldn’t help myself…) I was going straight up bananas. Like, let me tell you right now, you are in for a ride. Much like my experience of the first book, I was literally freaaaking out coming up with new theories around every corner.
IS IT REALLY A GAME? OR IS IT REAL THIS TIME? AHHHHH.
In fact, I was worried about the ending. There was sooo much intrigue and so many open plots and there was no way it could live up.
But, oh… the end was beautiful. Because I had a billion and a half theories, I won’t answer whether or not I was surprised. I will say this: Legend’s reveal was perfection, and now I need to reread the whole series just to fully comprehend everything that took place.
But even still, I found myself even wanting more. Then I asked myself why. Why did I want more?
The answer was simple.
I just couldn’t bear to leave the world or the characters. I didn’t want it to be over.
My advice to you is this: Go into this with no expectations and simply get lost with Tella. Just enjoy the ride, the characters, the thrill of adventure. There’s a lot to wrap up in this book, and while I wanted to stay forever and learn everything about everyone, I am so in love with the end.
Stephanie crafted it perfectly.