If you haven’t read this novel yet then you won’t be aware that the Scarlett and Tella’s father is quite abusive, and there are scenes in this book where you see the abuse and later in the book you do witness a suicide (obviously not going to tell you who but be aware that these themes are mentioned in the novel). The scenes aren’t too graphic but as I have never experienced any of these things, it’s not my place to say how bad the situations are! I just want you all to be aware that these themes are in the book.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
Caraval is Stephanie’s debut novel about the deep and unwavering love between two sisters and the lengths and sacrifices made for love. There’s action, love, family, mystery, and magic; Welcome to Caraval.
Scarlett Dragana is the oldest of the two sisters, and the one who has been writing to Legend for years begging him to come to the lost Isle of Trisda (that’s where the sisters live). I liked Scarlett, I thought she was quite ballsy considering everything she’d been through. She was an interesting character, willing to give her life away to a man she had never met to save her sister, and when she falls for someone else, she puts it behind her to save her sister. She had wanted to leave the next day so she would get back in time for her arranged marriage but obviously, Scarlett stays at Caraval long enough to save her sister and, in the end, save herself.
Tella Dragana is the youngest sister and quite reckless. She kidnaps her sister to take her to Caraval and then gets herself kidnapped, probably from being too trusting of people she had just met. Deep down, she loves Scarlett more than anything but doesn’t show it all that well. I did like Tella, but she was also a little annoying, I think it was her naivety to certain things. She did some things I’m not sure I could forgive as quickly as Scarlett did. All in all, I didn’t hate Tella but I certainly wanted to punch her once or twice.
Julian was actually the most endearing ass. I wasn’t a huge fan of him the first time you see him but when he gets into the boat with Scarlett (or as he likes to call her, Crimson) you kind of have to like him. He’s loveable, but he knows what he’s doing which makes him exciting. I won’t say too much about his character because I don’t want to give anything away, but by the end of the book you’ll either love or hate him!
Legend may or may not appear. I’m not going to say if you ever see him or not because of spoilers, but the game he has created is incredible. I honestly cannot believe what he and his magic have done and the things you see or do during Caraval. It’s incredible. I think Legend is an interesting character and I hope we learn more about him in the sequal!
I actually really loved this book. I ate up the hype and it became my first favourite read of 2017! After I finished this book, all I wanted to do was read more magical worlds where you can trust no one, essentially I wanted to re-read the book!
There were so many twists and turns, there was mystery and betrayal. I couldn’t put it down (literally read well over half in the one day and finished the book), it made me cry, laugh, and yell at all the characters. Not going to lie, some of the bits were a bit predictable *cough*black hearted boy*cough* but overall, I was shocked at the plot twists and cried a bunch at the end. Having a sister (or sibling) and readung this book make it a lot more relateable and I have such a close relationship with my own sister, it made the ending sadder. It made the whole dang thing sadder!
Overall I gave this book 5/5 stars, it’s one of my favourite reads this year, I think it’s amazing and I cannot wait for the next book! Well done, Stephine. What an incredible debut!
I don’t have a picture this time, I couldn’t find a photo I wanted to use or a font I was happy with so I’ll just give you the quote straight up. For this book, I have two. The first one is:
“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it is a different breed of magic altogether”
I love that line, mostly because hope is something I have a lot of. I’m always hoping for things to go a certain way and when they do, it’s such an amazing feeling!
My second favourite quote is:
“The future knows what things we desire, unless there is something greater in our path that chases us away.”
I would like to think we have the ability to help shape our paths, though I am a great beliver of fate and everything happens for a reason. I think fate knows what we want, and if we work hard or get scared it pushes and pulls us into the right directions.
Anyway, that’s all from me folks! I hope you had a wonderful long weekend/Easter and I’ll post again soon,