Remember, it’s only a game…
Or is it? That is the underlying question throughout Caraval by debut author, Stephanie Garber.
When Scarlett Dragna’s sister Donatella is kidnapped by the mysterious Legend, the master of Caraval, she must navigate her way through a game like nothing other all while trying to remain her own sanity.
I love circus stories. In fact, one of the two books tied for my #1 spot of my favorite book ever is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I loved the prose, the imagery, and so much more of that book. Of course, when I read an endorsement that compared Caraval to that book, there was no question that I was going to have to read it.
I am glad that I did.
Although Caraval can get a little confusing at the end with all the twists to the point that you may be trying to recollect some of the story threads that had been introduced earlier in the novel, Garber takes her readers on a magical journey where danger and magic lurk around every corner and nothing is as it seems. The imagery is beautiful and the characters are fleshed-out with motives and background stories that make them feel alive.
There are a few negatives about Caraval: First of all, as stated previously, things can get a little confusing towards the end of the book as each twist is unveiled. Secondly, I would have liked to learn a little bit more about the world that surrounds Caraval. The only hints of such things is the Isle of Trisda, the home of Scarlett and Donatella. I do hope to learn more about their world in the sequel.
Even with these slight negatives, Caraval was an enticing and enjoyable read, and I will be reading the sequel the day it comes out.