Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval, #2
Page Count: 496
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Original Publication Date: 2018
Genre(s): Young adult, Fantasy
“As fantastical as Caraval might feel, the next five nights are very real.”
Scarlett had done it: she won Caraval, saved her sister, and effectively escaped her ruthless father. All that was left to do was celebrate the night away. But the next days brings more surprises: Legend will be holding another Caraval just days away in celebration of Elantine’s Day. Only, this time, it’s Tella’s turn to play. And this time, Caraval comes with a warning: it’s not just a game—it’s all real, and it’s up to Tella to win.
Legendary picks up right where its predecessor ends, only this time from Donatella’s perspective, though still told in third-person POV. We follow Tella during her own game of Caraval, though she is warned before the game begins that it’s not a game this time—the danger is real. Tella being….well, Tella, of course, she doesn’t believe it. Her only concern is winning, no matter the cost, in order to find her mother.
If you read my review of Caraval, you’ll know I wasn’t a big fan of the novel. I enjoyed it purely for the fun plot and fast action. I didn’t particularly care for the writing, or for the main character. Scarlett was kind of a drag and remains one in the sequel, even though she’s no longer the MC. Donatella is much more interesting, though I can’t say I like her. She’s more tolerable than Scarlett, but still not a character I enjoy. What I do love, however, is Tella’s chemistry with Dante. Scarlett and Julian were cute, but their romance fell a little flat for me in some ways. Tell and Dante were red hot and on fire. I loved reading any scene they were in together. Those were the best parts of the novel. Really the only times I actually felt anything, emotion-wise.
The story actually improved in the sequel, too. Though once again the entire game caters towards our MC and literally no other character has even the slightest chance of winning (and once again we meet virtually no other players), I enjoyed the mystery around Legendary quite a bit more than with Caraval. Clearly I wanted to know who Legend is (or, at least, who we think Legend is), but also the mystery surrounding the mother and the Fates captured my attention as well. I would have liked the plot centered around the game, but at least it was a bit more interesting this time.
I’m not obsessed with this series, but I’m liking it anyway. It’s a fun break from all the suspense/thrillers I’ve been listening to on audiobook. It’s also helping me get interested in the fantasy genre again, so we’ll see where that takes me! May as well read Finale and finish out the series. Too bad I’m on a wait list!
–“Family histories repeat … Maybe our parents’ lives are imprinted within us, maybe the only fate there is is the temptation of reliving their mistakes. Maybe, try as we might, we will never be able to outrun the blood that runs through our veins. Or. Or maybe we are free the moment we’re born. Maybe everything we’ve ever done is by our own hands.
–“Anything said by a boy right before or directly after she kissed him could not be believed at all.”