Wednesday 30 May 2018


Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

You've all heard me talk endlessly about Caraval by Stephanie Garber at this stage, which is an annual theatre performance, festival, treasure hunt and life-changing game all wrapped into one magical bookish package, and it has been one of the best novels I've read in recent years. Its innovative, atmospheric and highly original story, combined with the rich and vivid descriptions of the fantastical world it's set in, has has me hooked even nearly two years after first tumbling into this wonderland. And this week the intriguing story finally continues in its legendary sequel.

Caraval was very much the story of Scarlett finally getting her wish to take part in the games and get the chance to meet the mystery man who is behind it all and is adored by many, Legend. This time around though the treacherous spotlight is on Scarlett's younger sister Donatella. A smaller side character in the first book, Tella takes centre stage in this the sinister sequel and not only captures the hearts and minds of some of the other players but those of the a this stage addicted readers too.

While Caraval already had a darker side to it, for the most part it was a whimsical and magical tale in which none of the more hazardous twists and turns made a lasting impact. In Legendary, however, the stakes are raised to the max and the difference between reality and fantasy becomes so blurred that it's impossible to tell them apart. Which means that the choice between life or death can be just one wrong move away...

I thought Caraval was innovative in its world-building and rich layering of Scarlett and Tella's world with fantastical elements that elevated it beyond my wildest imagination, but Legendary really shatters everything I thought I knew by creating an entirely new mythology that fits seamlessly with the existing Caraval world while simultaneously turning everything upside down. I was in awe of each new revelation and the excitement I felt when first discovering the lush Caraval creation continued on every single page of its sensational sequel.

The proof cover pictured above teases its readers with 'Are you ready?', and let me tell you, no matter what you're imagining before diving in, you are SO not ready. But man, the roller-coaster ride that follows will be well worth it. And you think you loved Scarlett in Caraval? Wait until you get to know the real Tella. She's fierce, intelligent and a force to be reckoned with – and she has instantly taken the top spot as my favourite Caraval character.

You'll notice that despite many gushing paragraphs I've actually given little to nothing away about this sequel, heck I've not even said whether there will be another Caraval at the heart of it! That's for a very good reason though. This is one tale you want to dive into completely unspoiled so you can gasp at all the places I did and have your mind blown again and again.

Legendary is pure magic. It's fantastical, it's imaginative and it's flippin' awesome. It expands the world of the Caraval beyond anything I could've dreamed of with a rich mythology that's layered beautifully with the already vividly depicted world. I love Tella. I love Dante. I love Scarlett and Julien (though there wasn't nearly enough of them in this book). And I love how dark, twisty and unexpected this magical and imaginative story has become.

Make sure you order your copy now, because you're going to want to dive straight back into this incredible world created so deftly by Stephanie Garber!

Legendary is published by Hodder & Stoughton and you can get your copy now from Foyles or your own preferred retailer.

🎵 Listening to: Fall Out Boy – Young Volcanoes


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