Caraval by Stephanie Garber is a luscious story of a girl willing to do anything for her sister, including win a game full of dark magic and dangerously lovely boys. If you are looking for an addictive and beautiful fantasy, look no further. This is the start of a new fantasy series that you don’t want to miss.
Note: I received an advanced copy of Caraval from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Published by Flatiron Books on Jan. 31st, 2017
Genres: Dark Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 401 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and 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.
- I was shocked by how quickly I tore through the pages of Caraval. I read it in basically 24 hours and was always finding excuses to keep reading. The pace is perfectly timed so that you are always finding out about some new aspect of the game and some new mystery.
- I thought I had figured out what the plot twist was going to be and boy was I wrong! I then thought I knew again how things would turn out and whoops, wrong again, ha. I love twisty plots that keep me guessing, and I ended up feeling much like Scarlett herself as the Caraval kept coming up with new surprises.
- The details of the island on which the Caraval takes place and rich and intoxicating. Magic suffuses everything such that you can never be sure if time is moving faster or slower for you, if that food seller is going to charge you in secrets or nothing, and what will happen if you stay out after dark.
- While Scarlett certainly has some romantic encounters, the driving force of the story is her absolute devotion to her sister and her determination to save both of them from their abusive father. I love it in young adult when something other than romance is the driving relationship :).
- It is difficult to discuss this vaguely, but basically I found aspects of the ending cliche and hitting one of my pet peeves. Things just ended up too easy after such a wonderfully dark story. If you want specifics, let me know and I’ll email you ;-).
Caraval was everything I’d hope it would be! It was darkly magical and full of twists and turns. I can’t wait to read the next book!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
© 2017, Anya. All rights reserved.