Review: Caraval, by Stephanie Garber


Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: 31st January 2017
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 407
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.
Caraval. I think if I had to sum it up in one word it would be: wonderful.

This book is filled with wonder and magic and fantastical elements and it is quite honestly beautiful.

I’ll start with the characters. Scarlett was an amazing protagonist. An awesome name, too. She was so brave and clever but at the same time so naïve about Caraval itself despite knowing about it for most of her life. Seen as she’d been through so much with her sister Tella, they’re character arc is so fascinating, especially seen as we get to watch it progress. They’re both so mysterious and elusive and I adore them.

“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”

I think the plot of this was amazing and extremely well-thought. The atmosphere and tone was stunning and so unique and it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. It’s filled with so many plot twists and it’s so engaging. A book that’s really hard to put down, that’s for sure. Cannot wait for the sequel and I cannot recommend this enough!!
5 out of 5 stars!