Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Release Date: 31st January 2017
Publisher: Hodder UK/Flatiron US
*Thank you to Hodder/Chapter5 for sending me an ARC for review*
Okay to say there is hype surrounding this book would be a bit of an understatement i’ve been looking forward to having this in my hands for quite a while and when the ARC arrived in the mail I freaked out. The premise and what we knew about the story itself had me so intrigued.
On top of that the covers/hardbacks themselves are simply stunning! Now after I’ve finally finished it I can say.. it lived up to the hype for me, I seriously had the best time reading it, It’s magical and one of those stories where your never really know who to trust, which along with its many twists & turns made for a really fun reading experience.
Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis: * 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. *
Scarlett is heading into an arranged marriage to someone she has never met, set up by their cruel father, of whom punishes the girls in a way when one of them does wrong the other gets the blame for it. Scarlett has dreamed of going to Caraval since she was a child, always writing letters to Legend the mastermind organiser saying how much she’d like to play the game with her sister, Tella.
One of my favourite parts of this book was the sisterly bond throughout, it felt very genuine and real and I’m really glad that they were always top priority, that no matter what crazy things were happening around her, Scarlett’s mind was always thinking about Tella.
I loved the fact you never knew what was real and what wasn’t, it just kept the whole story so exciting and unique, this with the world building and descriptions of the places within Caraval were really great, I could visually see everything in my mind, which doesn’t always happen with me. I also loved the friendship between Scarlett & Julien and their whole adventure together, it was a really interesting dynamic. This book is also so beautifully written, you wouldn’t think its a debut.
I seriously cannot wait for this sequel! I feel like we might get more of an insight on this world/setting?? all in all I think this is a strong debut & I can’t wait to read more by this author in the future.
*update* since drafting this review my finished copy arrived!! curtesy of the Fairyloot January box, I got the tent hardcover design & the temptation not to collect all the covers is very real right now.
Gave: 5/5 stars.