Legendary by Stephanie Garber ARC Review

Legendary by Stephanie GarberLegendary by Stephanie Garber (Caraval #2)

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release Date: May 29, 2018

Pages: 416

Summary: A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

*Received ARC through a festival* + *Be wary of major spoilers!!*

My Rating:★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Legendary takes readers back into the world of Caraval! With a darker and more magical atmosphere, Tella finds herself immersed in a game of secrets, mystery, and magic!

While Legendary for me personally wasn’t a 4.5+ star read, it really put the view of Caraval in a completely different perspective and I really enjoyed that.

Legendary takes a different, much darker turn than Caraval, while introducing and expanding on the mythology + lore of the world, which was so interesting. Through the Fates and Deck Of Destiny.

We get an expansion on the world even more than we did in Caraval and I loved seeing how it played a bigger role towards the mysterious character of Legend and the game of Caraval itself.

Firstly, this novel now follows Tella’s journey after the events of book 1 in a much slower paced story, where the stakes are higher. However, in my opinion those stakes were definitely overshadowed by the slow pacing and character-developed route of the story.

Tella’s on a journey through Caraval just as her sister was in Book 1, however with a bit of a twist.

By the end of Caraval, we learn she’s made a deal with the help of a mysterious friend she’s sure will reunite her with her mother. But, we learn she will only get her back, if she learns of Legend’s true name!

She must now complete her own game of Caraval if she hopes to be reunited with her mother, while also preventing darker forces from interfering.

I enjoyed how Legendary took more of fairy tale vibe with royalty, curses, love, prophecies, magic, etc. I found the sequel delivered this element in a very interesting way.

Garber’s writing seamlessly introduces more magical elements this time around and easily incorporates it into the world of Caraval.

With more of a game set in reality, the dark atmosphere and familial/personal stakes this game delivers for Tella was done in a very interesting way and had you really question what was real or just another part of Caraval.

I really loved how Caraval this time around really blended with reality, it made Legendary that much more of a mind game, with the reader unsure of what exactly to believe!

Legendary also introduces us to a couple new characters who deliver so much to the story.

We get introduced to the prince of Elantaine, Jacks (the Prince of Hearts aka one of the Fates) and the queen of Elantaine.

Jacks was easily one of my new favorite characters! He was very mysterious and his personality shined through every moment of page time he was in.

While its clear what his motives are regarding the Fates and his plans during the 2nd Caraval, his character was just so dynamic and interesting till the very end.

I also loved how we got a new and different view of Tella! From book 1 we see her through Scarlett’s eyes and in a very one-sided way, but this time around we just get to see more of her personality shine and the inner depths of her as a character, who isn’t all she seems.

Additionally, it was also great to get more development on the mysterious Dante, who was somewhat of minor character in Caraval, but definitely gets a lot more expansion in Legendary!

I really wish Scarlett had more page-time though! She was so great in Caraval, that I felt in Legendary she didn’t have much of an impact on Tella as Tella had on her, in book 1!

Continuing with the characters and story, I really loved reading more about discovering who exactly was Legend and the introduction to the mysterious prince, Jacks!

Jacks is a character who I can’t wait to learn more about in Garber’s, Finale!

The element of the Fates also allowed for more depth to a different side of the world + story in Caraval, which was so interesting.

However, with those great elements aside, to me Legendary (at times) just felt it was Caraval (plot-wise) all over again, but now following Tella. While that is definitely not a bad thing, I just couldn’t help but compare the 2 very easily.

I was just hoping for Legendary to take a bit of a different approach, however the mystery and expansion on the mythology made it a very memorable sequel.

The last 50 pages or so however, really brought me back in as all the pieces were coming together. Finally reaching the end, all I could think was “what?? Now, how am I supposed to wait for Finale?” 

I enjoyed the ending and know seeing where the story seems to be headed, I am beyond excited to read book 3!

Legendary is a darker and even more character-driven sequel! With the magic system expanded on and even more intrigue and mystery, Garber’s continuation to Caraval will have you unsure of what is real and what is all part of the game as Tella takes a chance and plays Caraval!

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