Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Inside cover blurb:

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.


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Not bad. After all the hype this book received, it wasn’t as good as I hoped, but it was better than I thought.

The main character, Scarlett, annoyed me quite a bit throughout most of the book, but the lavishness of the setting and the mystery of the game itself kept me going. I was interested in hearing about Caraval and Legend more than anything…perhaps a prequel wouldn’t be a bad idea in this case.

Plus: Awesome concept of a deceptive magical game and enigmatic game master. There were also some fantastic twists that I didn’t see coming.

Minus: I was a bit disappointed by the ending, but the epilogue made up for it in a way.

If you like this book, try:

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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