Sometimes the second book in a series can fall a little flat compared to the first one, but Legendary, the second book in the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber was amazing and actually might be better than the first in my opinion!
The first book, Caraval, focused on Scarlett Dragna who gets invited to participate in Caraval. The game ended up being trying to find Donatella, Scarlett’s sister, who was “kidnapped” at the start of the game. In the end of the first book we learn that Tella had orchestrated the invitation to the game and now she owed someone.
Legendary picks up shortly after Caraval ended. The two sisters decided to stay on and travel with the Caraval cast, players, etc. including Scarlett’s new boyfriend, Julian, to Valenda to celebrate the birthday of the Empress Elantine. They would be having another Caraval in Valenda the week of the birthday to celebrate. Tella received a note from her “Friend” saying she still owed him. Tella learns that the “Friend” is Jacks, one of the Fates who had all disappeared years ago, and Prince of Hearts. He curses Tella for failing to deliver on what was owed to him and she has until the end of Caraval to make good on their deal or she will die. What is it he wants? The true name of Legend (the Master of Caraval). And if she delivers on the name, Jacks will reunite Tella with her mother who has been missing since Tella was a young girl.
Tella spends each night of Caraval trying to win, because the fortune teller had told her that if she wins the first face she sees will be Legend’s. At the same time she’s trying to be honest with Scarlett, but keeping enough from her to keep her from worrying, and navigating conflicting feelings towards Dante who played a minor role in the first book.
I loved the book and I think Tella is a much more interesting character than Scarlett. While book 1 was a lot of fun because Scarlett was really playing the game, this book was a little more character driven and Tella was mostly playing as a means to an end. My favorite part of the book was the budding relationship between her and Dante. The chemistry, angst, and tension was so good. I’m really hoping for a happy ending for them!
I’m looking forward to starting the third and final book to see how it all ends!
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