Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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A sequel to the popular novel Caraval, Legendary takes us back into the world of games and make-believe with a new narrator and a darker undertone. 

Last month I read and adored the first novel in this duo, Caraval. The magical world and the sisters at the helm of the narration made for a really delightful “fantasy lite” read and I couldn’t wait to jump back in with Legendary. In this new installment, we parted ways with one sister as narrator, Scarlett, and said hello to someone new: her younger sister, Donatella. I know many people weren’t sure about this flip, but to me it was both warranted and welcomed. Tella, who seemed frivolous in Caraval, proved herself as a strong, calculating character with a fire-cracker personality and drove the story with confidence.

In general, I thoroughly enjoyed this follow-up to Caraval. The author continued to use *very* flowery language and some seriously insane metaphors. (How many times can we establish that Dante smells, looks, and walks like ink? What does ink even smell like??) However, I was willing to look past the author’s interesting choices in that department because the world she built was marvelous. I was surprised we were immersed right back into the game of Caraval, which historically occurred annually, but the author properly rationalized this change and adjusted the settings plenty for variety.

Opposite our narrator, Tella, were two male characters, Jacks and Dante. Both of these men played crucial parts in the narration and I enjoyed how Tella interacted with each respectively. Based on Caraval, I was expecting a love triangle, as would have certainly happened if Tella was replaced by Scarlett, so I was delighted when the story didn’t skew that way. Though I enjoyed the passion between Tella and Dante throughout, I do wish Dante was more unique and fleshed out as a character. In many ways, he was the same person as Julian from the last story: handsome, helpful, and mysterious. Fingers crossed for more on him next time.

That being said, Garber did pour all of her imagination into this new book by creating so much history and intrigue by way of the Fates, Tella and Scarlet’s mother, cursed objects, and interesting rulers. She is clearly gearing up for a third book in this series and I will definitely be reading it. 

Overall? Definitely worth the 500 page read!

PUBLICATION DETAILS: Flatiron Books; 978-1250095312; May 29, 2018; Fiction -> Fantasy