Book Review: Legendary

Legendary (Caraval #2)
Stephanie Garber
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Synopsis: A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…

Rating: Garber delivers again her deliciously descriptive prose and twisty plots. One mystery that needs no solving is how much I love these books.
4 stars

“It was late afternoon, that warm hour of the day where the cerulean sky was usually tinged with gold and butter and wisps of peach light.”

I need to start this review off by talking about just how much I love Stephanie Garber’s writing style. Her descriptions are exquisite and add layers of depth to the experience of reading her books. And her books are truly an experience. The Caraval series is about abandoning yourself to the magic and reading Garber’s prose is like floating down a stream of magic.

“The air tasted like wonder. Like candied butterfly wings caught in sugared spiderwebs, and drunken peaches coated in luck.”

I was worried going into Legendary because I knew it was from Tella’s POV and I wasn’t the hugest fan of hers in Caraval. But getting to see inside of Tella’s head totally flipped my opinions. We get to the depths and strengths that were missing from her character in Caraval. In a funny twist, I actually ended up not liking Scarlett at the end of the book. I honestly feel that Scarlett’s character was off in this book, possibly because of all the focus on Tella.

As in the first book, Legendary is full of twists and turns that keep the characters and reader constantly questioning what is real. Some of the twists/reveals were a bit predictable, but it was still fun to work through the plot. I enjoyed the expansion of the world, though I felt the building of the world was a little light. These books are truly focused on Caraval and Legend, sometimes to the detriment of the bigger picture of the world they exist in.

Legendary is a fantastic middle novel in the Caraval trilogy. We get new characters, new mysteries, and new moments to swoon over. Garber has set up one heck of a plot for the last book in the series, aptly named Finale. I cannot wait for the final act!

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