Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
MY TAKE ON CARAVAL
Have you ever come across things which evoked the forgotten dreams of your childhood? If your answer is yes, you will understand my views towards this book.
I had picked this book on a whim. Being an ardent lover of Fantasy genre, I just read the gist and became happy to find a mythical story about two sisters. A cherry on the top… the story was about the elder one. Me being the elder of the two sisters increased my happiness quotient more 😉
Since I am unable to contain my thoughts about this book, I would forgo the usual sequence of my review and start right away…
“Glittering mist swirled around vibrant green mountains all covered in trees- that rose toward the sky as if they were massive emeralds. From the top of the largest peak, an iridescent blue waterfall streamed down like melted peacock feathers, disappearing into the ring of sunrise-tinted clouds that pirouetted around the surreal isle.”
The feature of this book, which blew my mind completely, was its vivid representation. I was absolutely drowning in those images sketched by the author. The scenery just rolled before my eyes as if I was watching a movie… As a reader, I was left completely bewildered by the vibrant scenes painted by the author through her words. It was just FANTABULOUS!!!
Truly speaking, it made me feel like a little girl who had just landed in a fairy-tale kingdom where everything was so colorful. Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the author was successful in mesmerizing me to follow this journey of Caraval.
“Whatever you have heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It is more than just a game or performance. It is closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world.”
The stories of Caraval, shrouded with mystery piqued my interest from the very beginning. I was curious to know the unknown. The difficult situations of the two sisters in their own house fuelled my desperation. I couldn’t wait enough to know, what is awaiting for the two siblings.
From the point of time, when Scarlett receives an invitation to join the Caraval, to the time when the game ends… I felt that I am sitting on a tight coil of spring. Although, as a reader, one could easily assume the possible storyline, but the small twists and turns added spice to the story.
Apart from the brilliant imagery, for me, the next most favorite thing in this story was the magical gown worn by Scarlet. I mean, come-on, which girl wouldn’t like to have a gown like that… The gown that fits as per your body shape and transforms into desired dress by itself.
The world-building of Caraval took my breath away. From the odd-shaped shops to the door-keys made of colored glass; from the underground tunnels to the winding canals – everything was so enchanting. The moving bridges, the street lamps, the magical drinks- all added up to the charm of Caraval.
“It is better this way sister. There is more to life than staying safe.”
“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”
“No one is truly honest,” Nigel answered. “Even if we don’t lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.”
“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.”
These are few of many lines which I liked in the book.
I do agree that the storyline wasn’t a strong aspect of this book. You could easily guess the main turn of events. But even with the simple story, the author succeeded in making a point on the outlook towards life.
Amidst the adverse conditions also, the sisters strived to have a good life for themselves till the very end. It was their hope to have a better life which made them go on…
Yes, the characters couldn’t impress me much. Now when I come to think about it, I realize that maybe the reason was that the author didn’t focus much on them. None of the characters could leave a mark. Although it was a drawback but it didn’t affect my liking towards the book.
In all, Caraval was truly a magical read for me. Can’t wait for the second book!!!
If you desperately wish for a trip to Fairyland, I won’t recommend you any other book.
Add it to your TBR at GOODREADS