Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval #2
Date Published: May 29th 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: FantasyMay 29th, 2018
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...
I have tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible as there are many plot twists I don’t want to ruin for anyone!
Firstly, Legendary is told from the perspective of Tella. It was great to get to see Tella’s POV and understand her character more. The book follows immediately after Caraval and follows Tella’s journey as she faces the consequences of decisions she made in the first book. The ending letter of Caraval was a shock and this book really dives into what Tella has done and what she has agreed to, to take part in the last Caraval. Tella owes a debt to someone and quickly becomes trapped between power players. Tella had a lot more depth than she lets on and has a lot more to say than what we’ve seen of her from Scarlett’s POV, so it was wonderful to get to know Tella - I actually don’t know who I prefer between the two sisters!
The book takes place in Valenda, with a focus on the royal castle and we even get to meet Empress Elantine. The change of setting was well done, and the new world created on the streets of Valenda was interesting and a great change.
Some very key new players were introduced, namely Jacks. His character was very well written, and his role was one I hadn’t expected. The twists he brought really added a whole new dimension to the story and brought it to a new level – it changed the whole game. Even though Jacks was not a character to be liked, I loved his scenes and was always wanting more of him – a sure sign of great writing.
I loved the story development, and that this was wasn’t just another version of Caraval but rather a new, more in-depth story. Tella was playing a far more dangerous game than she realized. The Deck of Destiny and the Fates played a key role, their introduction was a surprise and really elevated the book. The new settings and new myths came ti life beautifully. The book is still not defined, it still feels limitless but this just adds to its magic, and allows you to come up with your own theories and possibilities for where the story is going.
Dante played a more significant role in this book and watching his relationship with Tella develop throughout the book was a joy, although as always there were many secrets still between them. And of course, Scarlett and Julian are still in the book and we get to see their relationship develop now that some truths had been revealed, and yet many secrets still separated them. Scarlett’s presence told us that her story isn’t over yet, that she still has a vital part to play.
Most significantly, the identity of Legend is revealed, alongside some very important/ life-changing decisions. The reveal was done beautifully and fit perfectly even though there was a lot of build-up for the moment (almost two books) it didn’t feel forced. So many theories about the story meant that the ending couldn’t have possibly lived up to the set up however it did just that… although it set up book 3 for some epic storylines.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book, it had some amazing twists and the storyline became a lot clearer and far more intriguing. The secrets and herstories ran far deeper than Tella or Scarlett could know, Tella especially, manages to find herself in the middle of two very powerful sides, torn between what’s morally right and what was right for her. Lots of questions were answered, and yet some far more deadly questions arose.
The best way to read the Caraval series is to read without expectations, just enjoy the ride and the magic. Make the most of the journey, get lost in the story and the characters and excitement of the adventure.
This is a series that was utterly magical, and I constantly found myself wanting more. Finale is the last installment of this adventure and I am very sad that the magic must end.
Rating: 5 Star