Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

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About the Book

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

My Review

Caraval has to be one of the strangest books that I have read and once I got into it I loved it.
Scarlett and Tella are desperate to get away from their abusive father’s clutches. As far as Scarlett is concerned the way to do it is to go along with the marriage that has been arranged for her, even though she has never met her husband to be. Her plan is to take Tella with her, but before she marries they decide to accept an invitation to take part in the game that has been devised by Legend.
When they arrive on the island Tella disappears and Scarlett has to find her before the game is over and get back in time for her wedding. She is helped by a number of people including Julian, Dante and Jovan. But who can be trusted?
Everything about this book is bizarre. Colour is exaggerated, vibrant and seems to be brighter if emotions are high. There is magic, buildings move, tunnels and bridges appear and disappear. Some people show how little they can be trusted in their desire to win the game. When Scarlett makes mistakes, and she makes a few the danger levels increase for everybody.
There are always characters I am not keen on, obviously the father is one in this novel. But with the others, my opinion changed constantly. As it stated in the synopsis everybody was playing a game and everything was a performance. What I thought was real might not have been, and who might have been be a good person could have been part of a cruel trick.
I hadn’t realised that this was a debut novel, or that it was part of a series. I hope that I don’t have to wait too long for the sequel.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy via NetGalley.

3 thoughts on “Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

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