Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.
A mesmerising, magical and stunningly imaginative debut novel for anyone who loved The Night Circus and Daughter of Smoke and Bone
“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”
Are you ready to go on an adventure?
Are you ready to experience the magical game of
I’ve always dreamed about a place that allowed me to see the beauty and darkness of magic. A place where you can experience all the wonders it may have to offer. The darkness shows the spectacular and enchanting world from the unknown. Imagine you get to dive into a world filled with all the desires you hope to see. For only a couple of days, you get to blur the lines of reality and magic. What is real and what is not. Some may go mad, and some may not recover. That’s the whole purpose with Caraval. To escape the boundaries of light and discover the night. Caraval by Stephanie Garber, is an experience you can never forget, but only wish upon your dreams to make it real.
“No one is truly honest. Even if we don’t lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.”
Scarlett has always desired to have a chance to be part of Caraval. Her sister, Donatella and herself, heard the stories from their grandmother. The stories that lit the fire in their hearts to yearn the possibility of getting to be part of something surreal. Every year, Scarlett would send letters to the Master Legend, in hopes of getting that special ticket. After years of waiting and her hopes broken, she received something that had caused her to be stuck in a fork in the road. She was to be married to the Count D’Arcy but has given a chance to go to Caraval. Her sister Tella had told her to live. Told to go experiences what they’ve been dreaming of as little kids. The struggles that Scarlett had, felt real. She was excited to be married because living with her father has been nothing but a nightmare. So even if she tried to go to Caraval, her father would come after the both of them, to harm. She fought herself on the idea of leaving but deep down she was afraid. Mostly because she didn’t know the outcome of this adventure and to regret the chance of not attending. Was it a risk worth doing? Yes.
With the help of Julian, a sailor that Tella befriended, her sister managed to break the boundaries for Scarlett to go on an escapade. This wasn’t anything like it. Caraval managed to explode all the emotions a heart can experiences. Fear, mad, lust, and desire. It was like as if the actual stars explode with magic. The sensation that you read from the pages, was mesmerizing.
During the game, Scarlett and Julian become connected. The romance was settle but wanted. When he was introduced, I didn’t quite like him but he grows on you like wildfire. He’s rugged and feisty, with a settle heart of gold that makes him more attractive than anything else. Scarlett fought the feeling, even though she didn’t want too. As they become intertwine with the mystery of the game, Scarlett was falling down this hole filled with confusion. She tried not to let emotions overcome the possibility to fall in love with him; however, that’s the one thing that got to her mind. The one thing that she had to keep realizing, is that Caraval makes you wonder what is real and what is not. So she was wondering who is this Julian? What is his purpose?
“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself magic in this world.”
I had shivers when I read the darkness that she had to deal with. It felt like a maze; here you are coming close to the end when you’re hit with a plot twist completely unexpected. You’ll probably be dumbfounded like I was, because I can say without a doubt, I truly expected something different. Like a typical romance-fantasy story. I was completely and utterly wrong. The tunnels, the city, the people—they were all but a fantasy or were they? It had a little bit of carnival-circus feel mixed with the actual “Carnevale” that’s in Italy. Elaborate dresses, masks and top hats, and a beautiful enchanting carrousel. Garber’s description of this world was so addictive. I wish there was something like this because it truly captured me to believe that this was actual a true event. As much as I would love to talk about the actual plot of the story, I rather you take a dive into this world. I have to say that this was so crisp and captivating by its charm that I can’t wait to the second book. The ending left on such a high note that I’m having jitters with anticipation to experience Caraval again. The true question that I had, throughout the whole entire story, with all its ups and downs, was how can you define the line between reality and dreaming?
Enjoy the game, fall in love, take an adventure,
and solve the mystery before it ends.