Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea. Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Published: January 2017
Publisher: Flat Iron Books
Format: Hardcover, 402 pages
I went into this book with really high hopes as I kept hearing it compared to the Night Circus which is one of my favorite books. Where I was able find some similarities I actually found it was very different from the Night Circus. However I was not at all disappointed to say the least.
The writing and world building is exceptionally magical. It’s a fantastical story about sisterhood, trust and adventure that is set in a dark and twisted world that is captivating and run by a mysterious man who might be quite mad. This book is full of uniquely astonishing characters, who drew me in from the very beginning and never let go.
The plot in this has a good suspenseful pace to it that is completely transfixing and kept me intrigued the entire time reading. Within every chapter there is a new mystery that unfolds and must be solved which keeps you from ever wanting to put the book down.
What happens beyond this gate may frighten or excite you, but don’t let any of it trick you. We will try to convince you its real, but all of it is a performance. A world built of make-believe. So while we want you to get swept away, be careful of being swept too far away. Dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people won’t wake up.
Caraval is a once a year magical game, where only the lucky to be a part of as its invitation only. Once there you are allowed to choose whether you would like to participate or spectate and Scarlett Dragna has spent her whole life on the island of Trisda dreaming of the spectacular Caraval. Unfortunately for Scarlett and her young sister Tella, they suffer a mean and cruel father who keeps them under a watchful eye, never letting them step foot off the island. Now Scarlett finds herself in an arranged marriage and is sure that her dreams of seeing Caraval are something of the past.
But as destiny would have it Scarlett and her sister are sent the much sought after invitations to Caraval. With Scarletts wedding fast approaching she is not jumping at the opportunity she has always dreamed of, therefor with the help of a mysterious handsome sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the games.
Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.
Once they arrive and to Scarletts dismay Tella is nowhere to be found and she must proceed on without her and with a not so trustworthy companion Julian. Scarlett soon discovers that Tella has actually been kidnapped by Caraval’s Mastermind, Legend and that this season’s game is centered on Tella and the first to find her wins the game.
Scarlett is thrust head first into an elaborate game, filled with love, adventure, magic and even heartbreak, or so she thinks is just a game because everything feels far too real to be a performance. Scarlett has five nights to find her sister or else she fears she may lose her forever.