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.
“Every good story needs a villain. But the best villains are the ones you secretly like.”
MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
Okay, so I loved the first book in this series and after reading the synopsis of this one, I was scared it was going to be a repeat of the first one with just minor differences. And while the core plot was similar in that Tella was trying to win the game of Caraval, I really felt like this book was completely different in every other aspect.
For one, Tella is very different from her sister and their POVs and choices are noticeably different from each other. Another difference is that I felt like this book just cracked this world, its politics, its magic system, and religious history wide open. In a lot of ways, this book was just on another level compared to the first one. We got to venture outside of Caraval and explore a whole new city. We also met a few new characters and the overall plot of this story was kind of revealed.
Tella- I said in my last review that Tella didn’t get a lot of development in the last book and that I wanted to see more of her. Well, I certainly got that in spades in this book. Tella is the complete center focus and she just reads and does things so uniquely different from Scarlett. I honestly couldn’t tell you who was more of a joy to follow. I’m interested to see how they both play out in the next installment.
Dante- Could I love him more?? Honestly, I don’t think so! About 30% through this book, I started to get the strong feeling that Dante was Legend… and I was right!!! I had always been intrigued by him and his tattoos and I finally realized that this character that I had been anticipating to meet had been right in front of me the whole time. It made the rest of the book watching Tella try to figure it out and their relationship continue to develop all the more entertaining.
Jacks- Jacks is a very interesting character to watch. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about him as I am not sure if he is actually the villain or not. He certainly does some rotten things, but there are times that I see another layer to him just waiting to be discovered. I will certainly be watching him during the next book.
Scarlett- I was very surprised by the minimal amount that Scarlett was in this book. I expected her and Julian to play a much bigger role than they did. And I hate to say it, but even when Scarlett did appear in this book, I was ticked at her. She constantly got in the way or made decisions that I did not agree with. Like sending a letter to the Count… Like really?! How can she not see the masterpiece that is Julian standing right in front of her? Like come on!
The Fates- The addition of the Fates certainly made this book interesting. I’m terrified to see what havoc they will wreak during the next installment.
Paradise the Lost- Is it just me or did anyone else not want her freed? Like I don’t really care about her. Any interest I did have waned after we got to see the vision of her bargaining Tella away. Like that doesn’t scream loving mother that people need to sacrifice everything for. I’m just hoping she proves to be useful in some way, like sacrificing herself for her daughters or Julian or Legend.
Overall, I highly enjoyed this book. This series is easily becoming one of my favorites and I still can’t believe that I waited so long to read it. I am very excited to start the next book and see how this all comes together in the grand finale.
Other Books in the Series:
Book 3 – To Be Read