“Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea. Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game.”
Caraval is a magical trilogy written by Stephanie Garber. It is a story that clouds the boundaries between fantasy and reality.
Caraval was a game that occurred every year and granted a wish to the winner of the game. The story has Spanish background.
Caraval was an invite-only game, and those who attended were either participants or spectators.
Each year, there was one missing thing and several clues, and the one person who found the disappeared thing at the end of Caraval was the winner. The game only occurred at night time.
There were some rules for the players, the first being, Remember, it’s only a game. Everyone was a player, and there was no one to be believed. Some participants had gone mad or died while playing this magical game.
Introduction to Caraval Series
The series revolves around the two sisters, Scarlett and Tella, and how their life changes, followed by experiencing Caraval Game. Their whole life turns upside down.
Spoiler Free plot:
Two sisters, Scarlett and Tella, lived on an island with their father, Marcello Dragna. Marcello Dragna was also the Governor of the said island. Scarlett and Tella’s mother left them to their father when they were young.
Marcello used to verbally and mentally abuse his two daughters. Although Scarlett and Tella were sisters, however, their personalities differed from each other.
Scarlett dreamed of going to Caraval ever since she was a child. She wished to meet Master Legend, the person who uncovered Caraval. The legendary game.
Caraval occurred every year in a new place with new players. Every year, Scarlett wrote letters to the Master Legend, telling him about her dream of attending Caraval.
But, every year, she received no response from Master Legend. It had been eight years since her first letter.
Governor Dragna wanted nothing more than power and fame. So he used his daughters as a means to gain control. He has engaged Scarlett with Count Nicholas d’Arcy. Scarlett and Count Nicholas will be married shortly. Scarlett obediently followed her father’s orders.
Although Scarlett is a quiet, obedient, and introverted girl who lives by the book, Tella, on the other hand, is extroverted, adventurous, and playful. Contrary to Scarlett, Tella is a miser to her father.
Finally, Scarlett got a letter from Master Legend. He had invited Scarlett to the Legendary game of Caraval. Scarlett was happy at first, but then she realized that the dates of Caraval contradicted the date of her marriage. She became sad.
Scarlett went to tell the news to Tella, but she found her sister in the basement with a boy named Julian. Julian offered both of them that he would sail them to the Caraval.
At this, Scarlett hesitated, but something happened, and she lost consciousness. When she woke up, she was on a ship. Naturally, she panicked. There was no one on the boat except Julian.
The Sisters’ Love in Caraval:
Scarlett asked where Tella was. But Julian was giving false answers. He told her that she could only meet Tella by attending Caraval.
Caraval was a game that lasted for six to seven days. Scarlett agreed to attend the first day of Caraval so that she could find her sister.
Julian and Scarlett reached the destination of Caraval. Scarlett entered the gates of Caraval as a participant. She was there to find her sister, and then she would leave the game. She would then go to her wedding.
But as time passed, she failed to find her sister. And then, she soon realized the greater truth.
While every year, participants had to find the disappeared item. This year, the missing thing was a person, Scarlett’s sister, Tella.
Scarlett had to find her sister till the end of Caraval, or else her sister would die.
My take on Caraval Book#1:
If you are rooting for a story with the perfect amount of magic, fantasy, character building, and world-building, read this book.
If you are interested in a book having borderline imaginary and reality, read this book.
Firstly, The relationship between Tella and Scarlett, their sisterhood, and its long-lasting outcomes in their lives significantly affect the reader’s mind.
Secondly, The unexpected twists and turns hook the reader to the book. The whole book forces the reader to read the book in one setting.
The lessons Scarlett learns while playing the game change her perspective on life. She realizes that there is more to life than the mundane.
The clues leading to Tella are all unexpected and dramatic. The whole story is as dramatic as a person can imagine.
The clues also fool the reader into the game. And the reader, just like the participant, can’t differentiate between the facts and fantasies.
The characters are all magical, but remember one aspect; they are all players.
The world-building in this book is next level. It impresses the reader, who can imagine every single line in his mind.
My rating is 5/5 stars and Highly Recommended.
Spoiler Free Plot of Caraval#2:
While the first book is from Scarlett’s point of view, the second is from Tella’s.
Tella has saved her sister from a terrible arranged marriage. But now, she has to pay her debt. She made a bargain with an exotic criminal, who demanded that he would let her live if she did the impossible.
He has asked Tella to find Master Legend’s real name, a name that no one has ever heard or known.
So brave as Tella is, she embarks on the mission to find Legend’s real name. She devised a plan to make her mission succeed.
Tella is again going to enter and participate in the magical world of Caraval; she intends to win the game so that she may ask Legend his real name in her winner wish.
But she must remember one thing if she fails, she will lose her life. But Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever if she wins.
My take on Legendary(Caraval#2):
This book is LEGENDARY.
Do you know the type of book that takes you on the roller-coaster of all emotions, from fear to boldness and from surprise to suspense?
Well, LEGENDARY is one of those books. It promises so much, and there is no attention drift, even for a single page.
In short, this book is Extraordinary and Stunning.
The book is better than Caraval Book#1. Because the reader has become well acquainted with the world-building and atmosphere of the book, the book is more approved.
The character of Tella and Scarlett has honed a progressive curve. There are several instances where a reader can’t determine what will happen next. Twists and turns bombard this book.
So,’ she said cautiously, ‘is all this your way of telling me you’re the villain?’
His chuckle was dark. ‘I’m definitely not the hero.’
‘I already knew that,’ Tella said. ‘It’s my story, so clearly, I’m the hero.
The incredible thing is that although the game is exactly as in Book#1, they seem different and intriguing.
My rating is 5/5, and I highly recommend it.
Spoiler Free Plot:
“Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.”
Tella has won the game of Caraval, but still, she has lost everything she loves and is deeply hurt and broken.
She must now decide the side to take. Either she has the choice of an alliance with Legend or her former enemy, the person hell-bent on destroying Tella’s life.
“A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.”
My take on Finale(Caraval#3):
The Finale is the book that will leave you questioning everything. The book’s plot is so conflicting and twisted that the reader remains shocked for an extended period.
The book’s ending is fantastic, yet it is haunting.
“He might have been a liar and villain, but he made both things look very good.”
The characters, Tella and Scarlett, are the two favorites of the readers. The arc their story follows is astounding and breathtaking.
The twists in this book leave a feelingless hole in the reader’s heart. All kinds of feelings fill this book. Unlike Book#1 and #2, Book#3 is told from Scarlett and Tella’s points of view.
My rating is 4.5/5, and I recommend it.
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