I am honoured to be part of the kick off for the Canadian blog tour for Caraval. It is a dizzying, magical, enchanting read that I am so excited for everyone to experience.
Be sure to stop by and check out the other stops on the tour for more Caraval fun and surprises.
Caraval by Stephanie GarberPublisher Website - Raincoast
Release Date - January 31, 2017
Release Date - January 31, 2017
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 416 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for review from publisher**
Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
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.
There is a magic that happens when you've been swept away by a book. It has the ability to transport us into the story and creates a long lasting impression. Stephanie Garber has crafted a novel that does exactly this, and more. Caraval is a decadently enchanting novel that holds writing just as spellbinding as its setting and celebrates the bonds of sisterhood. It's magic and wonder wrapped in a little romance and entirely addictive.
The world building is so vivid, and lush that it comes alive as you're reading. It's a sort of wonderland filled with magic, excitement, and breathtaking discoveries. There are magic dresses, interesting forms of payment, and more than a few secrets waiting within these pages. It's the kind of world that you want to lose yourself in completely because it is so well crafted. You want to stay a little longer in it so you find yourself savouring the descriptions, and lingering over the magic of what Stephanie has created. It's the type of world that begs to be brought to life on the movie screen.
The novel's heart and soul is the bond between Scarlett and Tella. They are fiercely loyal to each other, and this bond is the central focus of the story. It is a not a perfect relationship, and I appreciated the nuances that are woven in. They can deeply annoy and disappoint each other, but the bond between is always there. This bond is what motivates Scarlett and drives many of the choices she makes. It drives the story and I hope it remains the focus in further sequels.
This is a story of secrets, mind games, and illusion. You'll feel as if you've been thrown down the rabbit hole and into Caraval yourself. You'll quickly learn to trust nothing, but do allow the magic of the novel to enchant you. Part of the novel's charm is falling into it along with Scarlett and discovering the world that awaits. It makes for a dizzying, twist filled read that leaves you questioning what was real even while providing answers. It's masterfully put together, and almost feels like an illusion itself at times as there is a sense of controlled abandon to it all. It seems like there are no rules, even as everything is meticulously plotted.
There is a darkness to this world. It's woven into the very fabric of Caraval. Participants are warned that previous players have gone insane and not to get too swept away into the game. This set up, combined with the unease of not knowing what is real, who to trust, and sensory overload create a more sinister tone that contrasts the alluring side of the game. It creates a delicious tension that only adds to the speed of the pages turning as you won't be able to read fast enough.
Scarlett is a delight. She's not someone who possess strength in the typical way we may talk about when we consider strength. Her love for her sister is a strength. Her determination is a strength. Her willingness to take chances is a strength. Her agency is one of the things I love most about her character. She makes her own choices, and follows what she believes to be the right path. She isn't dependent on others (even if she receives help from time to time) and often follows her gut instincts instead of what people are telling her. This combined with her fierce bond to her sister made her an easy character to root for. You understand her, and therefore her choices.
The romance is as seductive as the rest of the novel. It boasts adorable nicnames, earned trust, and some incredibly romantic moments that will leave you swooning. While the romance may not be what drives the novel, it does play a large role. The backdrop of Caraval only highlights the magic of falling in love and Scarlett's journey to find Tella would not be complete without it.
The jaw dropping set up for the sequel is enough to make you want to win a wish of your own so that you could get your hands on it immediately. It peels just another layer from the mysterious world and the characters that inhabit it while giving readers plenty to theorize about.
A magical adventure that transports you into the world of Caraval along with Scarlett. Stephanie Garber announces herself as a new voice in young adult literature with this stunning, and decadently written debut. This is a novel that will undoubtedly sweep you too far away, but you'll enjoy every moment of it.
Now that you've seen what I thought of Caraval, perhaps you want a little taste for yourself? Click the below image to be transported to Caraval and get a teaser of what awaits. You can also click the above image to check out more photos from Stephanie's Caraval Pinterest board!