Summary: Remember, it’s only a game…
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. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away
Review: 3 1/2 stars
I picked up this book for two main reasons, one it has been talked about a lot by friends of mine, and the second was the description. I love games and puzzles and I also love magic. Mix it all together and count me in. Mysteries are cool to read, but fantasy is definitely my favorite genre. When I heard about this book it sounded right up my alley.
Caraval did a pretty good job of measuring up to my expectations for the most part. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, the book would surprise me. The world of Caraval was mystical, filled with beauty and sinister elements at the same time. I found myself wishing that it was a game I could sign up to play in real life.
The plot was fantastic. Twists upon twists and you could never tell what was real and what wasn’t. But the pacing was slower than I wanted. It didn’t drag but sometimes it moved kind of slowly. The characters also kind of fell a little flat. I really enjoyed the concept though, so I would definitely read the next one.