Book Reviews · My Recommendations

Caraval by Stephanie Garber | Book Review

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Publication: Hodder Books
No. of Pages: 400
Book Type: Series
My Rating: 5/5
Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence, Mutilation, Kidnapping, Death, Suicide and Murder.

Blurb

Once a year the infamous Master Legend hosts Caraval – open only to those who have been invited. This year the week-long game is on Legend’s glittering Isla de los Suenos, where the winding streets are an elaborate snow-covered maze and the people are never who they seem.

At midnight on the first day, the show begins and the visitors become players. Each of them is vying for the coveted prize: a single wish. All they must do is unravel the mystery of Caraval. But in a game where danger hides behind every charming smile, winning isn’t without loss, and their wish might be their last…

Scarlett Dragna: Main Protagonist
Donatella Dragna: Younger sister to Scarlett Dragna
Master Legend: Master and Creator of Caraval
Julian: The Boy who helped Scarlett and Donatella
Governor Dragna: Scarlett’s and Donatella’s Father
Count d’Arcy: Scarlett’s Fiance

On the Plot:

The plot of the book was puzzling which was fair because that was the warning we got in the blurb of the book – you will never get to know what is real and what is fake until the very end when the main character is explained what really was happening all the time. How amazing is that! I was hooked from the very beginning, I wanted to know how things turn out in the end, because everywhere it was written not to trust what was happening! *laughs* The plot twist did not feel much of a twist because it was a really subtle move from the author’s side. She gave us tiny thrills in every chapter, maintaining the mystery evenly. I mean the entire book was a plot twist. Also, the book gave me literal chills at most of the points.

Writing & Theme

Okay, to be honest, this is the first time I have read a Circus set-up. I must say, I am definitely impressed by this one. The whole book was so atmospheric and gave me the feels of a Magical Circus in Victorian era. I was enticed with the little details of the Caraval, like the clock shop, the haberdashery, the people/clowns, the magic (ofcourse!) and the fact that the whole village was connected by tiny bridges where ever you go you have to cross one! There were some points where I was a bit confused about the movements of the characters from one point to another, like how exactly they went where they went (makes sense?). The book felt complete and I was kind of satisfied with the ending until I reached the epilogue. Oh boy, the cliffhanger!

Characters

I enjoyed all the characters. Everyone was so unique from all the characters I have ever read. I really was cringing on Scarlett in the beginning, she was this super cautious lady and I wanted her to live a little(just like Donatella says her). I desperately wanted to see a tremendous growth in Scarlett’s character and thankfully that is what happened. I loved the relationship Julian and Scarlett shared, the cute romance and the comfort they shared with each other made my heart go all mushy. I was surpirsed by the way the author maintained the Legend’s identity a secret the entire time. He was so mysteriously written that my overthinking mind always wanted to deduce who he might be, but in vain (all my guesses were wrong). I was happy that the characters were limited and no random characters were named.

Mystery & Thrill

The book had a eerie vibe throughout. I enjoyed how every chapter ended on a thrilling note which maintained the curiosity to know more and the story line did not deviate from the topic at all. every suspense and thrill was timely explained and it was the best thing. Lingering too long on a suspense usually makes me lose interest.

Overall

Breathtaking adventure, remarkable plot, beautiful characters and stupefying twists.
Read if you love: Adventure, Fantasy, Magic and Fast-paced adventure

  • Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.
  • Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.
  • β€œI think I’ve made a mistake.’ ‘Then make it into something better.”

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