Series: Caraval #2
Author: Stephanie Garber
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…
Caraval was amongst my favourite 2017 reads. It blew me away with its mysterious and magical carnaval setting and for some unknown reason, I didn’t pick up the sequel until a year after its release..
No, please don’t ask, because I wouldn’t know the answer.
But I finally picked up Legendary and got to reading.
The story is still magical, though taking place in a different, yet still very mysterious and magical setting.
We are now in the head of Tella, whom I didn’t remember much of since reading Caraval, other than she had been taken by Legend and something about throwing herself off a balcony? Did that happen or am I just making things up? I should really have re-read Caraval before starting Legendary, because I can barely remember two sentences from that book..
Scarlet and Tella have travelled with Caraval to a new city where Tella somehow immediately gets tangled up in royal affairs (no thanks to her “friend” Dante).
Legend, the creator of Caraval, has acquired some enemies, who would love to know his true identity (myself included), and of course, Tella finds herself smack in the middle of this.
But whose side is she on?
Especially when her own life and the lives of the people she love is at stake.
Much of this book is Tella pondering the possibilities that what is going on within Caraval is just a game, or in fact real, as in actually happening..
Which makes you as a reader confused at times as you try and figure it out for yourself as well.
And I love that! Don’t make it easy for the reader. Make our brains do the work.
I admit, by not remembering much of Caraval (though I loved it to bits), some of the magic was a little lost on me from my lack of memory. It was hard to re-connect with characters I could barely remember, but that’s no one’s fault but my own. I should have just re-read Caraval, but alas..
I felt Legendary was as mysterious and well-written as its predescessor and it had me turning the pages to find out what happened next. It had solid pacing, spanning only over the few nights during the festivities of Caraval.
What I like most about these books is the fact that you can’t really predict the endings. There are so many plots intertwined and eventually, with only a few pages left, you still don’t know how it will all turn out. That’s definitely how I felt with the end of Legendary.
Now, I will admit I am not always the most observant reader. When I read other reviews stating how obvious Legend’s true identity was throughout the book and even very early on, I just have to shake my head and disagree. I didn’t find it obvious in the slightest. I don’t overanalyse every sentence of every page. I read to enjoy and may not pick up on every little detail, but I like that, because that means I’m genuinely surprised when I get to the end and all is revealed.
All in all I really enjoyed this magical mystery game (or was it really a game) and I cannot wait for the final book, Finale.
Have you read this series?
Let’s chat about it in the comments.