I was sent an ARC of Caraval by Hachette Australia, but this did not impact my opinion in any way.
Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .
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. (Goodreads)
Published in January 2017 by Hachette Australia, Caraval is Stephanie Garber’s debut novel. Full of magic, deception, romance and incredible writing, Caraval is sure to delight and confound every reader.
To start with Caraval was a bit slow. We meet Tella and Scarlett, and the handsome Julian, and debate going to Caraval for a few chapters. Quickly though, the pace picks up, and we are immersed in beautiful, descriptive writing that drowns us in the sounds, smells and sights of Caraval.
Every chapter explores new aspects of Caraval, and you’re never quite sure what is real, and what isn’t. The entire book is a maze of deception and trickery, magic and romance, and I loved every second of it. I really enjoyed following Scarlett’s perspective, and seeing her love for her sister, and watching a potential romance bloom.
Caraval is a beautifully written trick of a novel with a cliff-hanger style ending that has me wanting more. Loved it so much. 5 stars.