Caraval Book Review

Caraval Book Cover Caraval
Stephanie Garber
Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Hodder & Stoughton
January 31st 2017

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.

Scarlett and Tella have never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure.

When the sisters' long-awaited invitations finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is an elaborate performance. But she quickly becomes entangled in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. 

And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever

There was a moment years ago where I nearly read this book on my Kindle. However, I stopped reading it because I couldn’t get over the formatting. I am very picky when it comes to reading books on my Kindle, and if they don’t feel right, I won’t read it. However, when I finally picked up the Paperback version of Caraval, I fell in love. What a book!

The world of Caraval is simply stunning. Completely magical and terrifying. There are wonders everywhere but danger lurks around every corner. The twists and the turns the story took kept me guessing. I am shocked by how incredibly Garber’s writing is. Fully immersive and colorful. The characters within Caraval are also mesmerizing and well written. I loved Donatella but I absolutely adored Scarlett.

Remember, it’s only a game…

The story follows Scarlett. She has wanted to get away from her island and her cruel fathers controlling nature. All she wants is to go to Caraval, a place filled with mystery. So when the opportunity presents itself through Julian, a sailor who has Caraval invites, Tella whisks Scarlett away. They head off to a world of mystery and magic. But Scarlett is in for more than she bargained for. Once they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Legend, the owner of Caraval. Soon, Scarlett finds herself thrown into the game with one objective – Save her sister. Although told that everything is a performance, danger still lurks and she must do her best not to get too swept away.

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.”

I adore Scarlett. She is a really determined and really intelligent character. Her love for Donatella is beautiful and the things she is willing to do to save her, gosh it’s heartwarming. I really enjoy the twists and turns and how her character progresses throughout Caraval. I also really enjoyed all the moments she and Julian shared. Although mysterious, it was the kind of relationship that kept me thinking what would happen next.

“The boy who’d saved her from drowning in more ways than one.”

Speaking of Julian, I love him so so much. At the beginning of Caraval, he is but merely a sailor who happens upon Tella and promises to take her away from their father. But once the story gets deeper, my love and intrigue for him grow. He is a question that slowly unraveled.

I also enjoyed the way the relationship between Scarlett and Julian is portrayed. It is not the main focus at all. It’s very slow-burning and I LOVE slow-burn romance! I’m looking forward to seeing what happens between the two of them next.

I always love books with mystery, and Caraval is PACKED with it. Especially about the mystery of Legend, the owner of Caraval. He is someone I truly hope we get to see more of in the next book, even if it adds to his mysterious character.

Overall, Caraval is a FANTASTIC book. A complex magical world filled with mystery and wonder. A must-read!

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