“Dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people won’t wake up.”
Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
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.
Okay, first of all–wow. Holy sh*t, this book was insane.
No words can suffice about the way I feel towards this novel. And I thought it was a standalone… surprise, surprise! It’s not. I don’t think I’ve read a book as magical as Caraval. Call it exaggerating, but it’s true! This was truly a mind-blowing, heart-stopping, ‘I will play with your emotions and wreck you in to pieces’ type of read. THAT good.
I don’t want to put the hype higher than it already is, but I just think that’s close to impossible now.
This book was indeed one hell of a ride, to put it lightly. Scarlett Dragna, our main character, has always wanted to attend Caraval–a magical travelling performance like no other, which allows its guests to either spectate or participate in the game. After several years of writing to the mysterious Master Legend of Caraval, she receives an invite for her and her sister. What she didn’t anticipate is her sister, Donatella, being kidnapped as a part of the game, and it was up to her to win her back from it.
What I could say that I admired the most in this novel was Scarlett’s character development. Let’s just say that she’s your typical secure damsel just waiting for the right moment to get the safest way out from their treacherous home, away from her horrible father, and the little island she’s lived in most of her life. She went from a safe girl who wanted to avoid the consequences, to a lady who knew how to take risks and do fierce things for the people she loves.
Another aspect that made me love this book, was the bond between the sisters. It was crazy-weird at first in my opinion, but as the book progressed, you’ll realize that their sisterhood is truly special and it was a bond that can never be broken. They would do anything and everything to protect each other. It just made me wish I had a sister or someone who would love me as they did to one other!
The plot and storyline of Caraval was executed wonderfully. The visuals, the world building, and the magical concepts were well thought and it wasn’t too difficult to get in the story! This book definitely toyed with my feelings, and I’m okay with that. Sorta.
Stephanie Garber’s writing also helped with how easy it was to get in this book, it described everything so vividly. It wasn’t too heavy on the reader, which says something when it comes to the first book in a fantasy series! Most books get slow, but this one picked up quickly! I can’t believe this is her debut novel, and this book just makes me want to read MORE of her work. It is all sorts of magic.
You guys would probably expect how much I’d recommend this book, so GO! Go pick it up, please. I feel like people who would want to venture in high fantasy would enjoy this novel. Or anyone it general. Read it. Read it right now!Side note: I ‘reviewed’ this also in goodreads, which is actually just summed up my reaction for Caraval and it’s my most liked review yet. Which is silly cause I pretty much said a one liner. If you’re curious, you could check it out here (lol).