My Rating ~ Five stars
RELEASED: 29 May 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Format: Hardback – Owlcrate exclusive cover edition
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.
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Warning: as this book is a sequel, there will be mild spoilers to the first book, Caraval, in this review!
Tella and Scarlett are on their way to Caraval again. Tella holds the letter she received, signed “a friend”, at the end of the last Caraval. A letter where the friend alluded to being able to give her information on her mother who disappeared when she was young. She is willing to do whatever it takes to find out the truth about what happened to her, but the ‘friend’ has just named his price: he wants Legend. The only way for Tella to discover Legend’s true identity is to win Caraval. What starts out as a plan to win the game and find her mother soon turns into an impossible choice that puts lives on the line, including her own. And once again, Caraval is a game where it’s not easy to know who is acting and what is an illusion. But this time, is it really a game?
I loved Legend just as much as Caraval, if not more. Stephanie Garber has a way of making me believe I’ve guessed the outcome a hundred times while reading, only to sweep the rug out from underneath me time and time again. I was 100% convinced, on multiple occasions, that I absolutely knew who Legend was. Although, I’m pretty sure at that point I had suspected every single character in the book (and my family and next doors dog).
Seeing the story told from Donatella’s point of view this time around was so fun. She is such a multi-faceted character and I loved learning more about her story. Legendary picked up right where Caraval left off – the morning after the last night, so there was no lag time in between to navigate.
There are old characters we got to know in Caraval and new ones too. Although, even some of the old characters’ stories we thought we knew are turned on their head, so nothing feels like absolute truth and no-one can be trusted!
Although Caraval felt a touch more magical with the introduction of Legend’s powers, Legendary seemed more fateful and the magic darker. Tella’s desperation in the choices she had to make made for such compelling reading.
It wasn’t until I was a few days away from starting the book that I realised it wasn’t a duology and the story would be continuing after this, so the ending wasn’t the nearly tied now I thought it would be! But I’m glad for it, because I need the magic to go on.
I hardly ever do re-reads anymore but I feel like I badly want to go back and re-read Caraval with all the new information I have – to see it in a new light!
And please, most importantly, someone invent me one of Scarlett’s enchanted dresses!
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