‘Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .’

Caraval by Stephenie Garber is the kind of story that you just want to devour because you can’t get enough. It’s a beautiful story about sisterhood and adventure, full of amazing characters and a delightfully dark world.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved 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 far-away, 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. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

With characters that you’ll relate to in the craziest of ways as Caraval pulls you into the dream world from beginning to end.

Stephenie Garber is a beautiful writer, her writing style that goes along with the plot just makes it even more magical. Her sentences strung together fluidly, painting a fitting picture for the world she created. Scarlett, Tella, and Julian jumped off the pages straight away. She wrote such a strong opener with well developed, three-dimensional characters.

The twists were clever and not too over the top, bringing the final chapter to a satisfying conclusion for a first book. The world of Caraval is well developed and you can clearly see yourself in the settings. I can’t wait until Legendary is released and I can read it!

Rating 4.5/5