Book Reviews

Legendary by Stephanie Garber (SPOILERS)

🌟4.75 stars 🌟

Legendary was definitely a lot better than Caraval, but there were still some minor issues that I had with it which were because of personal preference. Legendary follows the story of Scarlett’s younger sister, Donatella, as she plays Caraval this time around but the stakes are so much higher.

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.

As much as I disliked the main character in Caraval; I loved the world and suspense so much. While Scarlett just had to find Tella in the last game, in this game Tella has to win or she will lose her life. Legendary was well paced with action each night of the game like in Caraval. I also love Stephanie Garber’s magical writing, because it makes the world of Caraval so much more interesting.

As for the characters, I immensely enjoyed reading from Tella’s point of view compared to Scarlett’s. She thought more about what mattered and even though she is known as the more reckless sister does actually think through her decisions better than Scarlett did. I love how fiercely she loved her family and would do anything to protect them regardless of how much they have wronged her. My heart also broke with her when she finally allowed herself to love and got her heart broken in return.

I thought I was over the whole bad boy trope, but I might love Dante just as much as I did Julian in Caraval. He is such a grey character that left me wondering throughout this novel if he’s actually a softy on the inside or if he was just playing a part. I think that he honestly cares for Tella and I want to know where their relationship will go. I think it just doesn’t make sense for him to literally destroy the world by releasing the fates and not have even the slightest feelings for her? Also, I stumbled across a spoiler that Dante was Legend, before reading Legendary, so it might have just seemed the signs were obvious since I knew it already.

Jacks is someone that I am not sure how I feel about? I’m still confused about the situation between him and Tella to be honest. I don’t understand why she was bleeding and dying at first if she was actually his true love all along unless he caused that to happen to stop her from finding out? I feel like there’s so much more to learn about this Prince of Hearts and what part he play in the next book.

I didn’t know it was possible to dislike Scarlett more after Caraval. I mean she hardly played a part in Legendary right? I’m all for morally grey characters, but it just does not sit right with me to play with people’s hearts so flippantly. I understand that Julian may not have been the most honest person with her, but he had good intentions while Scarlett literally said “I think a little rivalry might be good or him.” If she is going to talk to the Julian and the count, she should at least be honest about her intentions with both of them.

There are a few plot points I disliked. As much as I understood the reason the weird love triangle came to be, it doesn’t mean I really enjoy them all that much. I might have let it slide if I learned more about Jacks, but even after finishing Legendary I don’t feel all that much for him? I could go on and on about how overused love triangles are in YA fantasy, but I digress. I also wasn’t a big fan of the “pretend fiance” thing. It was done once in Caraval and I just wish there was a different ruse used in Legendary.

Overall, Legendary was such an interesting read especially because the stakes were a lot higher. Tella had to win and even after she won, she still faced the choice of betraying Legend or betraying Jacks. Legendary was a story of learning how to follow your heart, but even when you do follow your heart it might not always bring you to your true, hopefully happy, ending.

 

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