Book - 2017
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Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett's father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, 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 who she has just met, 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.
Publisher: London :, Hodder & Stoughton,, 2017.
Branch Call Number: FANTASY
Characteristics: 407 pages :,map ;,24 cm.
Series Volume: 1.


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Caraval: Magical fantasy

If George R. R. Martin's Westeros of the Game of Thrones series is a magical take on an historical Britain, then the world of Stephanie Garber's Caraval is a similarly fantastical Italy. The story starts on a sun-soaked isle, the home of heroine Scarlett Dragna and her sister Donatella, but inevitably progresses to the home of Caraval, where potions, wishes and magic are real and wind throug… (more)

From the critics

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Jun 22, 2021

This YA book probably has to be ranked within my top 20 favorite fantasy books. It’s active and very addictive, drawing amazing scenes and characters. The twists and turns, action, and romance couldn’t have been better. I’m not a huge fan of the circus-y themes normally, but this book is SO GOOD. I definitely recommend "Caraval." Personally, I would’ve liked to have seen a little more love between characters, but other than that, this book is absolutely amazing and a must read if your into YA fantasy! Stephanie Garber is an amazing author and "Caraval" is beautifully written. 5 stars all the way!

Jun 02, 2021

Caraval by Stephanie Garber is a young adult, a fantasy novel that has mystery, romance, and betrayal. It starts off with two sisters, Scarlet Dragna and Donatella Dragna. Scarlet has always been in love with magic and sends letters to a certain magic performer called Master Legend. And every so often, Legend holds a competition called Caraval. Scarlet has always dreamed of going there but she knows better. She and her sister live in an abusive household ever since their mom left them, so Scarlet does whatever she can to keep her younger sister safe. Scarlet thinks that her only way of doing that is to marry someone who can take them out of that life. A man she has never met or talked to other than letters. But her sister thinks otherwise, Tella thinks that they should stop waiting for a man to come to save them and to live their lives away from their father. Everything changes when Scarlet gets a letter from Legend, with tickets to this year's Caraval competition. Scarlet thinks it's a bad idea and that they should just wait for her to get married, but of course, Tella thinks otherwise and somehow they both end up at Caraval. Except Tella has gone missing and Scarlet is left with a boy named Julien who she has never met. Scarlet needs to find Tella before Carval ends, or her sister could be gone to her forever. The main character, Scarlet Dragna, is a very caring person and takes precautions in everything. Julien, who she meets because of Caraval, is everything but that. He is arrogant, funny, and very lovable. It is very fun to read them go through the competition, the unexpected plot twists happening, and the romance is also good. However, looking back on this book, I think it could have been done better. It was very fast-paced and full of action, but some of it was unnecessary and did not make sense. I think this book is good for people who are 14+ and looking for something to keep them entertained, and who enjoy being shocked at every page.

May 18, 2021

Light fluffy YA romance novel in a fantasy setting. I went had no prior expectations of what it would be like and enjoyed it. I don't understand the comparison to Hunger Games on the cover though. There really aren't any similarities (outside of "YA novel with a female lead" - which applies to 90+% of YA novels).

Apr 30, 2021

Caraval is a captivating story that will have readers desperate for more with its unique, lovely plot. Scarlett’s father has arranged her marriage, and she thinks her dreams of seeing the legendary Caraval, a show that involves the audience in an adventurous situation, are dead. However, that very year, an invitation arrives and Scarlett, with her younger sister Tella, sneaks off with the help of a sailor to the Caraval. Upon arrival, her sister is taken by the master and Scarlett desperately tries to win the show to get back her sister. Throughout this jam-packed story, there is the underlying romance without which the story would be incomplete. I 100% recommend this to anyone looking for an enchanting story full of adventure.

Apr 16, 2021

Scarlett Dragna is bound to marry a man she’s never met, just because her father wants her to. So both Scarlett and her sister, Donatella leave their father’s island to take part in a popular performance called Caraval. When they arrive, Donatella is suddenly kidnapped and Scarlett is forced into a game to get her sister back. Playing the game to its fullest, Scarlett is determined to get her sister back by being the first to find her.
I had no idea this book existed until my brother introduced it to me. When I read it, I was surprised at how the world Stephanie Garber created, worked. There was magic and mystery, something that was entertaining. I recommend reading this book if you want something that keeps you entertained, or company, as a person would.

pacl_teens Apr 12, 2021

"Enter the world of Caraval, a yearly performance where those invited play to solve riddles hidden throughout the game. The prize is a wish. After years of requesting tickets from the game-organizer, a man who calls himself Legend, Scarlett Dragna receives three tickets. Betraying her cruel father, she and her dearest sister, Tella, leave their island with the help of a sailor named Julian. Soon after arriving at Caraval, Scarlett realizes that her sister has been taken away by Legend. Now, Scarlett must navigate her way through the twisty, magical world of Caraval if she wants any hope of finding her sister. She must win the game.
I loved being transported into this magical world through vivid descriptions where I never quite knew what was real, and what was just a performance. I enjoyed the setting, a lot, and the plot-twist at the end was perfect. The scenes in this book were unique, and there were many fictional components that I have never seen before. The only part I disliked was that there were some minor plot-holes, and the protagonist had some character flaws.
But overall, I would recommend this book, (and the entire trilogy), to teens and adults who enjoy fantasy and would like to enter a very interesting world." - Grace, Grade 8

Mar 13, 2021

For fear of giving anything away, I will not tell you too much about this book. However, I will say with absolute confidence that you will never guess the ending. Garber does an excellent job of circumventing your every expectation in the story, not giving you what you expect, but always giving you what you need. Using the colorful backdrop of Caraval, Garber is able to weave a fantastical game of intrigue that will leave you with far more questions than answers. Where is Donatella? What is Julian really after? And who in this world is Legend?

WPL_Erin Mar 12, 2021

Really loved this! Such a unique idea and a vibrant and colourful story.

Mar 05, 2021

Despite this being a book for the "younger" amongst us, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I devoured it. It definitely gives you pause to think about your OWN life, our inner Tella and Scarlett, and our lives, and situations in our lives which can at time mirror Caraval. With the author's descriptive phrases I truly felt the magic in the book and at times wished Caraval were REAL. A dress for 5 secrets? Or another trinket for 2 days of your life. Sugar cubes that give you strength, or silver sheets of rain. Air that is sweet. I can't wait to read the other two books in the series.

LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 09, 2021

I love this world of magic and it's only the beginning. The line between reality and imagination is so thin and blurred. There are very few rules in this world and everything comes at a cost that can't be paid in money.

The relationship between the sisters is shown without having them together for most of the book. We follow Scarlett the 'boring' sister who wants stability and safety which gives us an interesting perspective as she travels through a chaotic world in an attempt to save her sister. This book shows the power of sisterly love.

The sisters are trying to escape their father who is controlling and abusive and have very different ideas about what the best way is to do this. Scarlett thinks her arranged marriage will save her but Tella disagrees and makes her own plans.

I love the tension between Julian and Scarlett, as you can see that he is hiding something (because everyone has a secret in this game) yet he keeps being drawn back to her. In the end his secrets are revealed and they are kind of bombshells but don't end up coming between the couple.

This book explores a lot about ethics as you see bystanders who see something bad happening but do not do anything to stop it. This is most seen in Scarlett's fiancee. He may not be a terrible man like her father but he won't stop the terrible men.

The book is just one constant stream of adrenaline as the stakes continue to increase throughout each step of the game.

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Add a Quote
Apr 13, 2017

“She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.”

Apr 13, 2017

“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.”

Apr 13, 2017

“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”


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