I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Caravalby Stephanie Garber
Published by Flatiron on January 31, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
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.
One Of the most anticipated YA fantasies of 2017 does not disappoint! Caraval is a lush, exotic, journey where the reader is not sure what is real what is a part of the act. The world building is fantastic, everything breathes magic and illusion. Sisters Tella and Scarlett are stuck on an island that smells like fish with a father who is sinister and brutal I his punishment. Bethrothed to a Count, Scarlett is to be wed in a week, when a letter arrives with invitations to this year’s Caraval, an elaborate game of escape and risk. To a family raised on tales of Legend the carnival mastermind, and the wishes he has power to grant, this is not an opportunity to be missed. But not all is as it seems. Kidnapping, theft, risk of life and loyalties are all a part of the game…or are they?
What a ride! Garber does a masterful job with leading us on a twisty tale. I have my two favorite characters, and I’m sure readers will have theirs. Without giving away any clues, let’s just say there are plenty of sparks, mysteries and creepy villains. Cliff hanger ending? Check! Can’t wait for book two.
Content– moderate violence, threat of assault, sensuality for an older audience.
Stephanie Garber grew up in northern California, where she was often compared to Anne Shirley, Jo March, and other fictional characters with wild imaginations and stubborn streaks. When she’s not writing, Stephanie teaches creative writing, and dreams of her next adventure.