ARC provided by Flatiron in exchange for an honest review
Series: Caraval, #2
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Legendary rating: ★★★★
Caraval rating: ★★★★
Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.
After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.
The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.
This review will contain spoilers from the first book, Caraval.
Over the past week Stephanie Garber has become one of my favorite authors. I know Caraval had polarizing reviews, but I’m in the “I loved it” camp. Stephanie Garber writes the types of stories I crave and could devour in one sitting. Her stories are wrapped in mysterious, cunning characters woven into a luscious world of myths and magic.
Overall I immensely enjoyed reading Legendary. I was immediately whisked away into this atmospheric world again and it made me so happy! Legendary picks up right where Caraval left off, but this time we’re following Tella. And, wow, we really do hit the ground running. Tella owes a debt to a mysterious person and she once again has to play the game in order to pay her debt. But in good ol’ Caraval fashion, things aren’t always as they seem; you can’t trust anyone and whatever rules you learned from the last Caraval can essentially be thrown out the window.
Because this time around, we really don’t know if it’s a game anymore.
“As fantastical as Caraval might feel, the next five nights are very real.”
While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Tella during the first book (I did like her at the end, though), I immediately loved her in Legendary. There’s nothing I love more in a MC than sarcasm and a sharp tongue. Time and time again she proves herself to be brave and calculating. And you will get to discover so much more of her past, which was just barely skimmed over during Scarlett’s POV in Caraval.
And while Scarlett and Julian are in this book, they do take a bit of a back seat. New and old characters come into play, and guys, you’re in for a real treat. I won’t spoil anything so I won’t be naming names. But my heart was bursting with joy as I fell deeper into the story. Let’s just say Chapter 13 is my new favorite thing I’ve read in a very very long time. I legit had to put the book down to send a raving Snap to my friend Melanie. Oh, and I am 100% all in for shipping a certain couple. *heart eyes*
“Magic can be fueled by time, blood, and emotions.”
Aside from loving the cast, I was so immersed in the new world. The Caraval games are being held in Valenda, an empire that holds many secrets and legends. You’re in for quite a ride because there are so many new myths and magical systems to learn. My ARC copy is covered in page tabs because I wanted to memorize the history behind these legendary myths.
Okay, so you’re probably wondering why I gave this book 4 stars when I’ve been gushing about it. Well, I did have a few qualms that inevitably made me lower my rating by 1 star. Without giving away any spoilers, I found it to be a little too romance heavy (nothing wrong with this at all. I really liked the romance but at times I felt like it took away from the story). I also wasn’t the biggest fan of some twists and I really wanted a bit more Scarlett and Julian.
But wow, that ending! I wanted to throw my book across the room. Not in a bad way, but in a what-will-I-do-with-myself-for-another-year kind of way. Seriously, once I got down to the last 30 pages I did not want it to be over! Legendary is an amazing middle book of a trilogy, and it’s already setting up for a wild ride in book 3 (which already has a title: Finale.) I don’t know how much more my heart can handle, but I am so ready for it.
I truly did love this book despite my tiny complaints. Please pick up this book especially if you enjoyed Caraval. You’re going to discover such a fun, new world sprinkled with some morally grey characters and beautiful tragedies. I hope you love this book as much as I did!
Buddy read with Melanie! ❤
All quotes were taken from an ARC provided by the publisher and is subject to change upon publication.