My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Caraval introduced us to a world in which a magical game is played and the winner is given a wish. We meet the sisters, Scarlet and Tella, who have always dreamt of playing Caraval and escaping their lives on a boring, forgotten island. We hear tales of the mysterious Legend, master of the games and wielder of magic. And we learn that it’s only a game – or is it?
While I enjoyed Scarlet in Caraval, I didn’t care for Tella at all so I was a little trepidatious about her being the lead of the second novel. Surprisingly, Garber was able to develop Tella’s character in a way that provided her depth and motivation so that she became a more real and understandable character without completely changing who she was as a person in the first book. She’s still selfish and flawed, but now we understand where she’s coming from. I absolutely loved her journey in Legendary.
As a huge fan of mythology, I fell in love with the depth that Garber brought to this second novel. She really developed the mythology that wasn’t present in the first novel and built such an intriguing foundation upon which the plot grew. Just as with the first book, the world building and descriptions were incredibly vivid. The author uses colour and taste to draw you into the narrative, making it more appealing and seductive.
Caraval, it’s only a game – and yet, you cannot help but guess and wonder along with Tella as she plays the game. What is the truth and what is a story made up for this elaborate play? I felt that the pacing was spot on, pulling you in as the stakes ramped up then drawing you on slowly as the tension built. I was constantly wondering and guessing, although I determined Legend’s identity fairly quickly. I was still curious to see how it would all play out.
As much as I enjoyed Caraval, I loved Legendary even more. I am now so invested in this world and series, and cannot wait until the next book is out to see how it all plays out.