Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems . . .
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long 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 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.
I rate this novel 4.5/5 stars
I connected with Scarlett in most ways; her similar traits were created by a complex and all too familiar family history. She’s taken responsibility of her younger sister Tella, since the disappearance of their mother, desperate to keep them safe from their father wrath. While being bound by crippling fear that he wields over them, yet she longs for a romantic solution to her situation. Meanwhile Tella, is wild and lives life to the full, regardless of the consequences. The two sisters make great polar-opposites.
The author Stephanie uses all five senses to pull the reader into the story. I particularly loved the use of colour to reveal Scarlett’s emotions. My imagination danced with delight while reading Caraval.
It reminded me of, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – A truly magical novel. You can check my review. Full of magic, mystery and carnival delights.
Scarlett and Julien’s story was utterly enthralling. They swept me up in their tale of anguish, hope, passion and desperation. An enchanting combination of evocative emotions.
My favourite character was Julian, the mysterious, head strong boy that oozes charm, but has the steel-edge of danger surrounding him. Swoon. Although the noel was an easy read, the imaginings behind the costumes, settings and puzzles were elaborate and fantastical. I know this book will sit as an all-time favourite on my bookshelf.
It was Tella that let the story down. Perhaps, because her recklessness reminds me of my own sister. A trait I’ve admired, but been perplexed by all my life. Saying that, I’ve already pre-booked Ledgendary, the second book in the Caraval series. I’m guessing the next book will be from Tella’s point of view. To understand her actions and choices will be enlightening.
I recommend this novel to YA fantasy romance readers. If you love carnivals, magic, mystery and love stories that make your blood sing and heart flutter – then this book is for you.
Thanks for stopping by. Have you read Caraval? If so, what did you think?