Title: Legendary (Caraval #2)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Page Count: 512
Release Date: May 29, 2018
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.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.
I received an ARC of this book
from the publisher via Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This in no way effects my overall rating of this book.
if you haven’t read caraval, don’t worry, i won’t be talking caraval spoilers in this review
OH MY GOD.
OH. MY. GOD.
*takes a deep breath*
Before I start this review, you should go read my review of Caraval. Trust me, it’ll make this review 100,000,000x better. If you’re too lazy to read my review, to sum my thoughts up, I was disappointed and not impressed by the hype at all.
But here I am now, ready to hype you the hell up because Legendary was SPECTACULAR and BRILLIANT and MESMERIZING and just plain AMAZING.
Don’t get me wrong, I still despised Caraval, but maybe a bit less now since I adore Legendary so much. Funny how instead of second book syndrome, this series goes the opposite way and suffers from first book syndrome.
Let’s talk about Tella. Caraval had us following Scarlett’s perspective but in Legendary, we readers were put in the mind of Tella as we followed her journey. To be completely honest, I hated Tella in the first book. She seemed full of herself and bratty and I just didn’t like her at all. But throughout this book I got to love her character quite a bit.
The other characters, however… I mean. They felt quite three-dimensional but also I felt like I knew what everyone was up to?? And I feel like that shouldn’t have been happening?? I knew who would end up being a friend and who would end up being a foe and that kinda took a bit of the magic away from the story for me.
Not to mention the romance… okay. So this one annoyed me a bit less than in the first book. But it still annoyed me nonetheless. Especially because of something… that I will not say because this is a spoiler-free zone!
“This is why love was so dangerous. Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals were as ephemeral as feelings, eventually they would wilt and die.”
Haha wow, so I started throwing shade at the book after praising it. I guess that’s the kind of thing I do around here. Really, I did enjoy this book while I was reading it. It’s definitely not perfect, but it was a big improvement from the first book.
One thing that improved a lot was the writing. In the first book, Garber’s writing was so flowery and I just wanted to rip my hair out. I like flowery, I can handle some flowery-ness, but it was overkill. I think Garber realized her mistake and decided to turn her flowery switch down a bit because the writing was a lot more bearable.
She still uses a lot of food adjectives to describe scents and such but I guess it makes Caraval more atmospheric for the readers so I can’t complain too much about that. In truth, Garber’s writing works in it’s own way because I can picture the magical Caraval game so vividly in my head it feels like I’ve physically been there.
Throughout the book, Tella is trying to rescue her mother, battle these historical almost-god-like creatures called the Fates, and try to figure out if Caraval is just a game, or if it’s real this time around. It made me anxious and holding onto the edge of my seat in anticipation.
“Once a future is foretold, that future becomes a living thing and it will fight very hard to bring itself about.”
Also, Legend was revealed. But… it felt fake? I mean, it also felt pretty final and conclusive, but I was a bit… underwhelmed with who Legend ended up being. Maybe it’s because I guessed who it was from the beginning of the book and I was right so it felt like everything was a bit too easy to guess?
There were a few surprises throughout the book, but the ‘big reveal’ at the end made me feel wholeheartedly disappointed.
The sister’s relationship was better this book. They got more interactions and even though a lot of them had to do with them telling lies to each other – or, well, not telling the entire truth – I appreciated the way their sisterly bond was shown since I felt like it was nonexistent in the first book.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
This was overall a very magical, thrilling sequel! Whether you liked the first book or not, there’s a chance that you might enjoy the sequel more like I did. You’ll constantly be asking questions and making up different theories. Stephanie Garber did good this time around.
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Have you read Caraval or Legendary? What are your thoughts on them? Let me know!