Book Reviews

Legendary // Is it all just a game?

Legendary (Caraval, #2)Legendary by Stephanie Garber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun


I honestly didn’t want this book to end. Stephanie Garber may have become one of my top ten favorite authors after this book.

The setting is so perfectly described as to almost transport you into this world. I can actually imagine the characters without feeling like something of them is left undescribed. The game of Caraval is once again so wonderfully described and written that it is hard to remember “it isn’t real.” This game of Caraval takes place in Valenda. The land is reminiscent of Wonderland or Panem from the towns to the food. One disappointing thing I found was that there were at least 3 obvious grammatical errors I found. I am a bit shocked this happened as this is not just some debut novel published on kindle unlimited with a free author. A book of a series this popular should not have had the errors it had. Poor on the editors’ behalf.

Legendary is told from Donatella’s perspective as opposed to Caraval that was from Scarlet’s perspective. Upon first reading, I was a bit disappointed as I had become attached to Scarlet after finishing Caraval. Not even a chapter is shown from Scarlet’s perspective. However, it was quite easy for me to completely cease caring about Scarlet by a quarter through Legendary. Tella is way more interesting, in my personal opinion.

Characters from Caraval return for new roles in the game of Caraval, as well as new characters introduced. Beyond the fact Tella is competing in Caraval, she sets out to find her mother, learns about the monstrous Fates, must discover Legend’s true identity, and decide whether to help Jacks -one of the Fates that somehow escaped the horrid Deck of Destiny-whom has promised to give Tella her mother back in exchange for Legend’s name, or protect Legend, thus thwarting Jacks’ plan to release the Fates from the cursed Deck of Destiny, but sacrificing her mother in the process. Garber provides an enticing bit of back story about Tella’s mother, leaving readers pining for more to be answered in the last book, Finale. Not only that, Garber also throws twists and turns leaving even your own heart hurting for Tella.

I found myself consistently second guessing who I thought was the true protagonist of the story and who Legend truly was. I felt as if I spent the last half of the book conflicted, hating that I loved the character of Legend too much. I love how Garber chose to direct this book, how she created the characters. Most importantly I actually love how she ended this book to leave a complete heart shuddering, phone throwing cliff hangar. Because that’s exactly what I wanted to do-throw my phone at the wall in frustration of my feelings for Legend and what Tella should feel/do.

This book has left me wishing sleep wasn’t necessary as I just want to read Finale than sleep for my 12 hour work shifts.
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