July 9, 2021

Caraval (Caraval Series #1) by Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval Series #1) by Stephanie Garber
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Flatiron Books

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber is a masterpiece of a fantasy tale, enticing readers to join in the mystery and the game. It follows sisters Scarlett and Donatella (“Tella”) Dragna, as they are invited to participate in the game by Carval master Legend. The magic of Caraval sank its teeth to me, and I didn’t want to stop reading (I finished all 10 hours of the audiobook in three days).

I enjoyed seeing Scarlett and Julian’s relationship develop. They had to figure each other out, while also having to figure out the clues from Legend and the other performers at the same time. Their character development was amazing (readers got to unwrap Julian’s history as Scarlett did). 

As much as I enjoyed Scarlett’s character in this book, I didn’t enjoy that of Donatella. She seemed to be kind of whiny in her biggest scenes, and it took a while for her to develop a backbone and stand up for herself. The twist at the end didn’t make up for the earlier moments.

The intricacies of the game were so well thought out in this book. Just when I thought that I had figured it out, Stephanie Garber pulled the rug right out from under me. So many twists and turns and red herrings, I applaud the author for keeping track of them (I had to keep notes during my read to make sure I was remembering things correctly).

The ending of this book seemed well thought out, while also setting up the events for the next book and the rest of the series. Overall, a top fantasy pick, and I look forward to starting the next book in the series, Legendary as soon as possible. 

About the Book

Welcome, welcome to Caraval--Stephanie Garber's sweeping tale of the unbreakable bond between two sisters. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world...

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett's father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett's long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval's mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season's Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

About the Author

Stephanie Garber is the #1  New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of THE CARAVAL SERIES, which has been translated in over 25 languages. Her newest book, ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART, releases September 28, 2021.

When she’s not writing, she’s usually reading or watching television shows with vampires. Now that her dream of becoming a published author has come true, her new dream is to visit Club 33 at Disneyland.

If your dream is to write books, Stephanie has a list of writing resources HERE. She also has a list of past interviews for anyone who’s trying to do a school assignment, or just curious about her writing: FIRST DRAFT PODCAST, 88 CUPS OF TEAINTERVIEW WITH A CLOCKWORK READERBOOKS INC. INTERVIEWLIBRO.FM INTERVIEW.

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