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Caraval: the mesmerising Sunday Times bestseller Hardcover – 31 Jan 2017
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With CARAVAL, Stephanie Garber spins a spellbinding tale of sisterhood, love and betrayal. Like her characters, I lost myself in the dangerous, enchanting world she created-and never wanted to come out. (Sabaa Tahir, author of New York Times bestseller Ember In the Ashes)
Enchanting and mysterious, Stephanie Garber's CARAVAL is a story rich with sumptuous detail, beautifully written. (Renée Ahdieh, New York Times No.1 bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn)
In a book where nothing is at it appears, one thing is certain: CARAVAL is the darkly enchanting adventure you've been looking for! (Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy and And I Darken)
Intoxicating. Darkly magical. CARAVAL walks the knife-edge between fantasy and reality. Within mere pages, I gladly lost myself in this perfect labyrinth of a plot. Stephanie Garber doesn't just dazzle-she makes me believe. (Jodi Meadows, author of The Incarnate Trilogy and The Orphan Queen)
A tale of sisterly devotion painted in colors of cerise and shimmering gold. If you ever wondered how it would feel to step into a living dream, here's your ticket. (Stacey Lee, author of Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon)
A decadent and enchanting tale. CARAVAL will sink its teeth into you, and you will not want to leave. (Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen)
CARAVAL shimmers with magic. This is an inventive, delightful tale with several aces up its sleeve. (Marie Rutkoski, New York Times bestselling author of the Winner's Trilogy)
[A] magnificent debut novel . . . intriguing characters, an imaginative setting, and evocative writing combine to create a spellbinding tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and hope. (Publishers Weekly)
I love this novel . . . It's a thing of beauty and the stuff of dreams. (Cecelia Ahern)
Like the Carousel of Roses at the heart of the party, the language is colourful, giddy and with the occasional barb.And like a fairy story, CARAVAL reveals dark truths behind a playful, glittering surface. (Daily Mail)
Advance word on Stephanie Garber's CARAVAL has been nothing short of ecstatic, and in this case, we're glad we believed the hype. It is a lush romantic fantasy, exquisitely written, inhabited by a cast of marvellously colourful characters. (Starburst)
Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite as it seems. A mesmerising, magical and stunningly imaginative debut novel for anyone who loved The Night Circus and Daughter of Smoke and Bone.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
From the very first chapter I <b>needed</b> to read this book; there was no question about it, and the more I read, the more hungry I became for this wonderful tale that Stephanie has created. I loved Scarlett straight away, and although Tella irritated me a little at first; I loved her too. So much deep thought has gone into creating this story, and I honestly have no idea how Stephanie managed it. This book isn't just one story, it's a whole collection of stories weaved together so finely that there isn't a single plot hole. Every question and wonder I had was answered, and in a more detailed way than I thought it could be.
The world of Caraval is something of dreams and the map in the front of the book is so adorable (posters, Stephanie?). The writing was perfect and every page filled me with emotion. There were so many twists in this book as well, and after reading so much YA and fantasy I'm usually quite good at picking apart the twists of books before they're revealed; but even when I thought I was certain about what was going to happen, I was still totally wrong. I was convinced for so long that I knew what the final reveal would be, but the last few chapters have flummoxed me. I genuinely don't understand how anyone could create something with so many layers - probably more layers than the majority of books I've read.
When I first started reading this book I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, I never thought I'd be this emotional at the end. I've laughed, smiled, cried and been angered by the events and characters in this book and it breaks my heart one hundred times over that I have to wait so long to read the second one. <b>Magic must be real, because there is no other word that comes close to describing this beautiful book.</b>
'Caraval' is about two sisters, Scarlett and Tella, who live on a tiny island in the Conquered Isles. They are abused physically by their father, and when Scarlett finally receives an invite to Caraval, a performance held once a year, they finally believe that they may have a chance of escape. Upon arrival, Scarlett quickly discovers that the whole point of this year's performance revolves around her younger sister's kidnap, and she sets off on a perilous journey to try and get Tella back.
I thought the world-building in this book was great but not perfect. Not much detail is given to the world as a whole but I found it really easy to visualise the setting once Scarlett arrived at Caraval. There is a map at the beginning of the book which helped, but to be honest this was not needed as the descriptions given throughout the book were really good. I did keep forgetting that most of the book was set at night, rather than during the daytime, and found it difficult to picture it like this.
I did like most of the characters, especially Scarlett. She was a strong lead and I really rooted for her. Tella, on the other hand, really annoyed me. She seemed to be so reckless and not think about her actions, but there is a nice little plot twist towards the end surrounding her that I didn't see coming. Julian, the main love interest, was another character I really liked. He was really mysterious. I kept wondering whether he was on Scarlett's side or whether he was working against her. Legend himself is another mysterious character, again you wonder whether he really is the villain that's he's portrayed as throughout the entire book. Scarlett and Tella's father was the only one I was certain was a real villain, but is all as it seems? I didn't like him as a character but he was a good antagonist. The secondary characters who appear throughout the story are all really likeable and I was always wondering who had an ulterior motive and who did not.
I really liked the writing style; as I've said it was really easy to visualise what was happening in my head. Towards the end of the book I didn't really see how it would work as a series as it seemed to come to a satisfying end but there is a nice plot twist at the very end that set things up nicely for the rest of the series. The book as a whole was very mysterious and I often thought I had things figured out when in reality I couldn't have been more wrong. I will definitely be picking up further books in the series.
One thing that did annoy me was the UK cover. The US cover is so much nicer but having read the book I kind of feel that the UK one does fit the story more.
My one criticism is that it's very very hard to read some parts on my kindle. The book is littered with letters, and "clues" that you are expected to read as the actual page rather than outlined in the text. Whilst I have nothing against this in text usually, they are so tiny on the kindle, that it is very hard to make out the script. I have good eyes and have the text very small anyway, but I found this extremely difficult to always make out and there is no way to enlarge it. I find myself irritated and removed from the rhythm of the plot everytime one appears. As someone who actually gets most of her reading done at night when everyone else is asleep, reading a hard copy in the light would take me about a year to fit in!
In short, I really recommend this book, but only as a hard copy.
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Reminded me of the hunger games.