Fantasy, Favorites, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

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Synopsis:

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

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.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…


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“Occasionally, there are minutes that get extra seconds. Moments so precious the universe stretches to make additional room for them.”

This book was just… WOW!!! Like I know that a lot of people were disappointed and I was really scared going into it that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations as a result. But I loved this book! It is definitely my favorite in the series by far. I couldn’t put it down and it exceeded all expectations.

I think the reason people didn’t like it was because this book was very character focused for a finale. Like this book was probably 70% characters and 30% plot. I for one loved that because I am a very character driven person. This book focuses a lot on Tella/Legend’s relationship and Scarlett/Julian’s and I loved that. I already adored these couples before this book but it only served to drive the point home. They are definitely some of my favorite couples ever.

I am so sad that this series is over. I drove through it and I don’t know what to do now. I’m just crossing my fingers that there will be a spin-off. It is heavily hinted throughout this book, especially that part where Tella had to promise to tell her future daughter’s secret. I know I would be down for any book this author writes from here on out, regardless of whether it is this universe or a different one.


Other Books in the Series:

5 🍁s ~ REVIEW: Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

5 🍁s ~ REVIEW: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

Fantasy, Favorites, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

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Synopsis:

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.


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“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:

5 🍁s ~ REVIEW: Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

Book 3 – To Be Read

Fantasy, Favorites, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

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Synopsis:

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.


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“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”

MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
For years, I have been hearing people talk about this series. And for years, I said I wouldn’t read it because it didn’t sound like something I’d be into at all. However, after so much time hearing great things and having friends talk about it and share quotes, I decided to finally give it a chance… And I am so kicking myself now because I absolutely loved this book!

From the very first chapter, I was intrigued by this story. I wanted to know more about the mysterious Legend and his Caraval. I also wanted to meet these two sisters that everyone had been talking about. I got swept up in this story. There is no other way I can describe it to you. This magical and mysterious world of Caraval gripped my heart and made my inner dreamer come out. I fell in love with this beautifully dark world and its complexingly nonsensical magic system.

Scarlett- I really enjoyed following Scarlett. While she did make some stupid and naive decisions throughout the story, I still liked her. As someone who has two sisters myself, I know what it’s like to have them run off and for you try to pick up the pieces lol. I might not have agreed with all of Scarlett’s decisions or her methods, but I can empathize with her being new to this and just trying to do the best she can.

Tella- I didn’t get to see much of Tella in this book for obvious reasons. She came across as the selfish sibling for a while so I liked when it was revealed that she engineered this whole thing to help her and her sister. I’m eager to see more of Tella and get some development on her character in the future books.

Julian- Julian gripped my whole heart so hard, it’s not even funny. I loved his sarcastic self and I am all here for him and Scarlett.

Legend- From the notes in the beginning to the chapter where we learned a bit about Legend’s back story, I was instantly in love. I know he’s supposed to be the villain, but I am too much of a sucker for morally grey, cursed males to not fall for him. You have no idea how disappointed I am that I didn’t get to meet the real Legend in this book. I NEED him to play a bigger role in the future books!

Overall, I highly enjoyed this book. There was so many plot twists that I was constantly reeling and, honestly, even after already being a third of the way through this story, I feel like I really don’t know anything at all. I’m dying to start the next book and see where this story takes me next!


Other Books in the Series:

5 🍁s ~ REVIEW: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

Book 3 – To Be Read