Come one, come all! The wondrous, mysterious, Grand Master Legend cordially invites you to Caraval, the most spectacular celebration in all of Trisda. For years, the exclusive island party was just out of Scarlett’s reach, all of her letters to Legend going unanswered. It was the impossible dream she held on to. At last, mere weeks before her arranged marriage to a faceless count, Legend personally invites Scarlett and her sister, Donatella, to his private island to join in the spectacle. Julian, a sailor they meet, helps them secure a boat and they set sail for the dangerous soiree.
Scarlett quickly realizes there is much more to worry about than an abusive father coming after them. She learns there is some truth to the fantastic rumors she’s heard about Legend and Caraval. However, it’s difficult to not get swept up in the game when your sister’s life is at stake. Caraval is only a few days and the countdown is on. Scarlett is desperate and seeks Julian’s help to unravel the chaos that surrounds Legend. Can she solve the riddle and save Tella before the magic ends on the last night?
It’s a colorful, Steampunk-esque, whirlwind of a read! Stephanie Garber crafts delicious prose, every emotion painted in a detailed hue of the rainbow that goes beyond the cliched “green with envy”. This was one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I’ve had in quite some time. I hadn’t picked up a fantasy novel in years and this was a marvelous welcome back. On creating the feel of the book, Garber explained on her website that she wanted the look of a Baz Luhrmann film and the sounds of Florence + the Machine. Indeed! I tip my top hat off to you, Garber. Splendid job!
Rating: ***** (5/5 stars)