My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Dates read: June 9-June 17
It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.
With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.
Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.
A true queen’s power isn’t in her crown, it’s in her heart.
I would rate Finale a 4.5/5 stars, but I rounded up for Goodreads purposes. Finale was a much anticipated read for me this month. I had not expected to finish it so soon, but it was impossible to put down.
Finale picks up almost immediately from Legendary. The Fates have been released from the Deck of Destiny and are out to cause mayhem. Legend has assumed the position of Elantine’s heir and prepares to assume the throne as emperor. Tella is left feeling betrayed by her heart. She has feelings for Dante, who she just discovered is the Legend, and she also finds she’s falling for Jacks, the Prince of Hearts. Both are immortal and do not have the capacity to feel love. Yet Tella is somehow convinced she can change either because love is greater than immortality she believes. Finale is told from alternating views between Tella and Scarlett. Tella, Legend, Scarlett and Julian all set out to kill the Fallen Star, a task that proves to be nearly impossible given he is the most powerful fate. Along the way, revelations are made about their mother and her mysterious past. Our favorite lead characters are further developed, giving explanation as to why they are who they are at this point in the series. Fates are also further revealed as their personalities and real motives in the human world are explained. Scarlett discovers a shocking truth that gives her answers to who she is, but also makes her feel conflicted towards her mother (view spoiler)
The story mainly follows along Tella’s perspective, showing her searching for clues and answers to defeat the Fallen Star while weighing her feelings for Legend and Jacks. Both immortals try to help Tella along the way, but at their own expense. Jacks always has a catch to his assistance. “All magic comes with a price.” Legend truly cares for Tella, but with every passing moment he spends with her, he realizes that caring for her is the least of his worries…If he spends one minute too long feeling love, he could be forever transformed into a human, a horrible shift that he can’t afford if he is to kill the Fallen Star and all the other Fates that threaten their world.
Finale brings light to Legend’s past and shows more dimension to the character. Though he might not feel love, he feels as close to it in regards to his brother, his performers from Caraval, and Tella. His powers are truly remarkable. Caraval depicts him as some mysterious and dangerous immortal that seeks to cause dismay in humans from playing horrible illusions and games with their emotions. Legendary shows a human side to him while also making him seem like a mischievous trickster. Finale brings his character together to understand him. Garber truly created an intriguing and unique character opposed to your typical male lead/heroine. The question that continues with the reader, “Is Legend really a hero, or is he an antihero?” Everything he does is for the good of the people. So are his actions really that selfish?
Scarlett is given a stronger part in Finale, though she really wasn’t as present in the story as Tella. And yet, Garber created her as part of the heroine package of the story. (and yes I say package because really it was Legend, Tella and Scarlett together) It felt like Scarlett was intended to find her voice and confidence in this book, to take a stand and fight against the Fallen Star, and yet her journey (view spoiler) was filled with time holes. I felt her discovering who her fiancé really was, Nicholas, was almost pointless. Garber gives Scarlett an opportunity to challenge who really loves her, but a chapter later Scarlett realizes it is all pointless and that she only wants Julian. The short introduction of Nicholas really seemed created just to make Julian’s feelings for Scarlett more enforced.
I’m not trying to win her hand. I’m offering her mine and everything that comes with it.
As always, Garber so wonderfully describes details in her own unique way. I truly could imagine every detail as she describes. The world of the Caraval series is reminiscent of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, perhaps with a darker taste and more emphasis on a deck of cards. Someone please develop this series into a movie trilogy!!!
Love is another type of magic. It makes things brighter, it makes people who have it stronger, it breaks rules that aren’t supposed to exist, it’s infinetly valuable.
The residing theme in the book is love. Love can make you weak and strong. Love can provide you happiness and despair. Love can bring you closure and yet still leave you with questions. How much would you be willing to sacrifice for love? A distant memory? The life of someone you love?
Is it bad that a part of me still wanted Tella with Jacks? His obsession to control her feelings truly wasn’t healthy, but his character as an immortal provided reasoning to his actions. It is not a good excuse, however it makes sense. Jacks’ and Legend’s characters can easily be described as a true Slytherin. Scarlett shines more as a Gryffindor in my opinion.
Here is why I deducted half of a star for the rating: the ending! The whole story leads up to defeating the Fallen Star. Scarlett, Tella, and Legend uncover secrets that potentially could defeat the Fallen Star, but every secret, which just discovering them in general was an adventure in itself, they uncover proves to be useless. (view spoiler)
I wish the Fates had been more present in the book as well. They were intriguing characters that I felt had more potential and added dynamic to the story. I did appreciate the little dry humor from the Assassin 🙂 “If we wanted to hurt you, I’d have shoved daggers through each of your hearts…that was a joke.”
I am a bit bummed to see this trilogy come to an end, however Stephanie Garber dots the i’s and crosses the t’s, leaving no loose ends and questions unanswered.
The most magnificent things are worth living for…