CARAVAL BY STEPHANIE GARBER
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.
This is possibly one of the most talked about books and series in the book lover world! I am a huge fantasy fan but haven’t read much of it lately as I’ve been trying to read new genres. However, I finally gave in and thought Caraval would be a great way to reintroduce myself to the familiarity and comfort of my favourite genre.
Caraval is a story of love, family, trust, betrayal and adventure. It’s more than just the story of an adventure cloaked in magic and mystery. There are a lot more layers to the story and they slowly unfold as you progress.
The writing is really descriptive and easy to read. It allows you to fly through the story and totally immerse yourself in the magical and enigmatic world of Caraval. I did find it took maybe 100 pages before I was completely hooked but once I got into the rhythm of the story, I was completely gripped and couldn’t put it down!
The characters are excellent and so strong. They all have their very distinctive roles and personalities and you become very attached to them as the story develops. Scarlett comes across as slightly annoying initially but you soon grow to love her devotion and loyalty. I also loved Tella and thought she was loud and firey character that balanced well with Scarlett. And then Julian...definitely the kind of male character you form a crush on!
One thing I loved about the book was how Scarlett associated and visualised emotions with colour. It made picturing the world of this book so much easier and you could truly see yourself on the streets of Caraval.
The ending is great. The last 100 pages are just twist and turn after twist and turn and I could not put the book down. I didn’t see loads of these twists coming and it really had me on the edge of my seat at times. And then the very end is a total cliffhanger and I can’t wait to read the second book to see what happens!
So yeah, I loved the book! It was a great way to delve back into the world of fantasy and I can’t wait to see which way the story goes!
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
'Not quite sure how far she'd already fallen, she imagined loving him would feel like falling in love wit darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars come out.'
Tella, she came across such a firey and strong personality. I hope we get to see more of her in the next two books.