Caraval #1

Reviewed by Melanie on June 28, 2017


This book came in my second Owlcrate back in February. I had scoured the internet trying to determine what the mystery book would be, and of all the books I found, this one was the most intriguing. I was overjoyed when I opened my box and there it was.

Scarlett, set to be married to a man she’s never met, and her sister, Donatella, are invited to Caravel after years of dreaming about participating in the game. Once Scarlett arrives, Tella is kidnapped, and to win the game, Scarlett must find her.

The world that Stephanie Garber has created is as bright and colorful as it is terrifying. As some one who doesn’t care for circuses, I would love to visit the world that Garber describes and participate in the greatest performance in the world. The imagery of the setting describes something not only beautiful, but delightfully frightening.

Scarlett is my least favorite character, even though she is the main character. She’s whiney and spends most of the book complaining about this or that and never really appreciating all that is happening around her. While I understand that she was concerned about her sister, and what would happen to her arranged marriage if her father were to tell her fiance’ what happened, her betrothed ended up being a jerk as well. All in all I enjoyed the book and look forward to the sequel next year.

Caraval Book Cover Caraval
Caraval #1
Stephanie Garber
Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Flatiron Books
January 31, 2017

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her 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 faraway, 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. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

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