Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Holy crap this book is good and I hate myself for putting off reading it until now.
That gif right there is me after finishing this book. That gif was me, right before grabbing Caraval from its shelf and reading as many passages as I could, all the while having my mind blown.
Stephanie Garber’s writing is absolutely enchanting; it’s magical and mysterious. It hides hints and clues within plain sight, and is the kind of writing that makes you want to reread passages of writing because it’s just completely beautiful. It’s often difficult to find books where the writing is beautiful, but the characters don’t suffer for it – sometimes authors seem to try so hard to impress with the writing that the characters end up flat and two dimensional.
Part of the reason why I haven’t read Legendary before now is because I was scared of ruining the magic of Caraval. I absolutely adored the first book; I loved Scarlett and Julian so, so much and I didn’t really have any strong feelings for Tella at all. I went into this book wishing that it focused on Scarlett, and came out as a dedicated Tella fangirl.
Tella is smart and brave and passionate; she feels deeply, and her love for Scarlett is incredible.
”Scarlett was Tella’s person – the one someone in the world whom Tella could always count on.”
Speaking of love, let’s talk about the boys in this book because holy shit did this book have me swooning.
Because Dante? That tattooed dude that didn’t really stand out much in the first book? He’s now been added to my ‘swoon worthy boys’ shelf and he’s never coming off. Oh my god. I’ve been googling his name so many times since I finished this book in the hopes that some wonderful soul has created fan art of him but no such luck.
”He gazed at her as if he wanted her to lose herself somewhere in his eyes, so that he could be the one to find her.”
(Just give me a moment to pick myself back up off the floor because I just turned to jelly)
I wasn’t too sure before going into this book as to what the plot would be like (surely you couldn’t have another game of Caraval be the plot?) but Legendary picks up where Caraval left off, and follows Tella as she partakes in a Caraval where the stakes are higher and the lines between fiction and reality are increasingly blurred. We meet new characters, and are introduced to the fantastically creepy Fates, who – not gonna lie – kind of scared me shitless. It makes me thankful that I didn’t get my hands on the special Fates card deck that you got when you preordered Legendary, because there’s no way I would have been able to sleep in the same room as them.
Seriously though, Stephanie’s storytelling ability is mental; she definitely keeps you guessing as to who to trust and what’s going to happen. It’s funny because towards the end of the book, I kind of thought that I knew what was going on and like I was in the know, but then the ending just totally pulled the rug out from under my feet and I’m back to being bewildered. Bewildered and desperate for the next book because Scarlett and Tella need their happy ending and if they don’t get it then I’m gonna go wild.
(Apparently in the third book we’re going to have POVs for both Scarlett and Tella and I am so incredibly ecstatic about that that I could cry.)