Friday, May 25, 2018

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Title: Legendary
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: May 29, 2018
Pages: 416
Source/format: e-ARC//Publisher

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Synopsis (from

Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval

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.

M Y  T H O U G H T S 

"Your future can be whatever you wish. We all have the power to choose our own destiny."

Welcome, welcome! Opening with a scene with young Donatella Dragna, Stephanie Garber reconnects her readers with similar magic and intrigue like as in Caraval. Tella likes real adventures while Scarlett likes to daydream. Tella discovers a deck of extraordinary cards in the dingy grey sachet sitting near her mother's jewelry. Exquisitely beautiful, this deck is haunting. Her mother tells her not to touch the Deck of Destiny again in probably the most elegant way possible, not knowing that Tella has secretly hidden The Aracle card. Yet this single card paved the future for Caraval and Legendary to exist.

With Garber's fantastic storytelling, Legendary is about Tella's story. Even though the game of Caraval has ended, the story isn't over. Tella has made a lot of sacrifices but she is still being tested. A friend helped her out and now she owes payment for her freedom as well as Scarlett's from their father. Tella must find out Legend's true identity or everything that she has worked for would be lost. The only way to find out is to play Caraval. However, will she be able to win the sinister game without costing her life? If she wins, will she live in regret?

Garber has reunited readers with characters besides Tella and Scarlett. We see Julian and Dante while we are introduced to the Fates, Jacks and Elantine. With the illusions and no two games are alike, I absolutely loved reading more about a Caraval game but in a different POV and set of new rules. Elantine is one of my favorite characters in Legendary with her wisdom and her motherly instinct. Yet cunning Jacks also steals the show.

Garber has illustrated vivid descriptions of the world of the Meridian Empire's capital city of Valenda. The descriptions tantalizes all the senses and piques the curiosity. Her chilling images have been imprinted in my head running its reel like a movie. The character growth in Legendary is more exponential compared to Caraval. We see Tella grow over time from when she is a young child to young woman. She has changed over the course of two rounds of Caraval. Dante has changed dramatically from the first game in Caraval to the end of Legendary. He practically does a 180. I am curious to see how they transform in the third installment, Finale.

"After all your sister didn't win because she solved simple riddles. She won because of what she was willing to sacrifice for those riddles, and for what she was willing to sacrifice in order to find you."

Legendary is deadly as it is enchanted. With secrets kept and slowly unveiled, Legend is always one step ahead of Tella and can fool pretty much anyone. Yet, can Tella fool everyone else? Is Tella willingly ready to sacrifice anything to find more about her mother? With the unrequited love and betrayal, it's hard to tell what is real and what is not real. What is fantasy and what is reality? Go on ahead and pick up Legendary after you've read Caraval. After all, it's only a game...or is it?


  1. I wasn't truly *wowed* by caraval but i'm currently about 30% done with legendary and I LOVE IT SO MUCH OMG I AM OBSESSED AJNSFOWHGEUFWBOW

    1. Legendary takes the whole world to another level! Caraval was more about understanding the characters and what was going on. Now since we have a baseline, there are more twists and turns that I found more enjoyable to read about.