- Title: Caraval (Caraval #1)
- Author: Stephanie Garber
- Release Date: January 31, 2017
- Page Count: 407
- My Rating: 5/5
Remember, it’s only a game…
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her 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 faraway, 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. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.
This book was everything I had expected it to be. It’s fast-paced, filled with wonder, and full of magic. I knew nothing coming into this book and I have to say, I didn’t really know what to expect. All I know now is that it may be one of my favorite books of 2017.
The story follows Scarlett, whose sister has been taken by this mysterious Legend. Master Legend is this magical performer who used to travel the world with his troupe in a game called Caraval. Scarlett has been a fan of the game and has always wanted to play since she was a child. When she finally does end up in the game, it isn’t exactly what she expects it to be.
Scarlett is accompanied by Julian, who accompanied Scarlett and Tella to Legend’s personal island. He and Scarlett team up to play the game together and try to find Tella before the five days are up. Julian is mysterious and handsome and the relationship that forms between Scarlett and Julian is beautiful.
I enjoyed this book for all that it offers. The love between the two sisters is something I can personally relate to. All Scarlett is worried about is finding her sister and making sure she is safe. She would do anything for Tella. That sisterly love is pure. There is a romance in the story that is a slow burn and absolutely perfect. Scarlett and Julian aren’t your average couple. There is no instant love connection but a real bond and partnership between them.
Another thing I love about this book is the mystery behind the entire story. Throughout the book, one of the reminders about the game is that not everything is real. While reading Caraval, I was constantly asking myself what was real and what wasn’t. I was on guard just like Scarlett was and I felt like I was playing alongside her.
The ending, for me, was a complete shock. I still don’t know how to process what comes next for Scarlett, Tella, and Julian. I didn’t even think this book was going to have a sequel so you and about imagine how shocked I was during the epilogue. If you’ve read Caraval, comment below if you freaked out like I did.
Caraval is a fantastic novel. The story is engaging and unique. It’s filled with everything you’d want from a fantasy novel. I would highly recommend checking it out and reading it yourself. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.