Caraval by Stephanie Garber

“She remembered thinking falling for him would be like falling in love with darkness, but now she imagined he was more like a starry night: the constellations were always there, constant, magnificent guides against the ever-present black.”-Stephanie Garber “Caraval”

I adore magic, I adore romance, and I adore a good mystery. THIS HAS ALL THREE! Caraval most certainly did not disappoint! Here’s the goodreads synopsis:

 

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.

Thoughts:
  • The idea of a game taking place during an extravagant event on a world stage can be an overplayed concept…but I so ENJOYED Caraval!
  • The world-building, especially in the game itself, is what makes the setting of this story vibrant and accessible to all the senses. Garber is a master storyteller, and the way she coaxes magic to life gave me major “The Wrath in the Dawn” vibes.
  • The entire time I was reading I felt present in this whimsical world where nothing is as it appears (*Cue Alice in Wonderland music).
  • The romance that occurs between Julian & Scarlett I ABSOLUTELY LIVED FOR, even though Scarlett is annoying AF and I rolled my eyes at her several times throughout. (Sidenote: Why is she annoying? She’s uptight, overbearing, & boring as hell. I am much more a Tella kinda gal 😜) I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops and learn more about Julian’s mysterious backstory—DUN DUN DUNNNNNN.
  • There were so many unexpected twists and turns that kept the mystery of Legend and the world of Caraval captivating and intoxicating. If you enjoy romance, dark magic, and mystery=I highly recommend!
I bought Legendary right after I finished Caraval 😁
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