Caraval by Stephanie Garber
A mesmerising, magical, stunningly imaginative debut novel, perfect for anyone who loved The Night Circus or Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year, five-day performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told over and over that everything that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak.
And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever . . .
WARNING THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
There was and still is a huge amount of hype about Caraval and I’ll admit I was swept away with the rest of the crowd. What’s not to love about a world where you can lose yourself… the only problem with Caraval is that loosing yourself can be very deadly
“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself magic in this world.”
The story is set around two sisters who are emotionally and physically abused by their father. He uses one sister to control the other. The girls have been dreaming about escaping for so long that Scarlett is now afraid to believe in a future where she may decide who she loves and wants to marry. Scarlett originally comes across and a weak-willed character, someone afraid to take risks as previous experience has shown taking risks can be deadly for the people she loves.
Enter Julian the mystery male character…. what secrets does he hide and why has he bounced from one sister to the other. First thoughts on Julian is that he’s a bit of a player!
At Chapter 11 I’m pulling my hair out, Scarlett is SO ANNOYING! I can understand watching your father kill your friend to prove a point is extremely scary but Scarlett doesn’t seem to want to take any risk if anything she’s become a little bit yellow and weak-willed
The further I delve into Caraval the more questions I have than answers:-
• What game is Legend playing?
• How is it that no one has seen the real him?
• How does he know everything?
• What magical powers does he control?
• How is this all connected with Scarlett and Donnatella?
I can honestly say I have never read a novel as frustrating as Caraval, I may have lost a bit of hair from all the hair pulling. Stephanie Garber character development of Scarlett was beautifully crafted, in the many webs she weaved with her words. Gone was the Scarlett that I was screaming at….”Get a backbone!” and enter a character where you understanding that jumping in head first could be costly. That being a little scared is okay.
Would I recommend Caraval? HELL YES!!! There are no words to describe this frustratingly, well crafted novel. Don’t take me word for it…. pick up a copy and tell me what you thought. Just remember to leave a link below. HAPPY READING!
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*RECEIVED AN ADVANCE READER COPY IN EXCHANGE FOR A FAIR REVIEW*