Where do I even begin? This was one of my Most Anticipated Books of 2018, and it did not disappoint. Thank you so so SO much to Net Galley and Flatiron books for an early e-book copy in exchange for an honest review. Here is the synopsis that I got off of Good Reads 🙂
“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.”
This novel picks up the morning after the first book, and from Scarlet’s sister Donatella’s (Tella) perspective. I found Tella to be a very interesting main character, and felt she had more to her than Scarlet. She is very brave and is not afraid of a challenge, and that came in handy during this books Caraval. This game surrounded The Fates that Tella has spent her whole life obsessing over because when she was a little girl, she found a cursed deck of cards in her mothers jewelry box. Right before she was caught, she flipped over 3 cards that sealed her fate after one became true not too long after.
During this Caraval game, Tella’s task is to discover Legend’s true identity. It seemed that he created this game just for Tella, and that he knew she studied the fates so much in her life, and some clues were left just for her to figure out. I loved the romance in this book way more than the first just because I felt Scarlet to be so dependent on Julian right off the bat, where as Tella would do things on her own and wasn’t dependent on Dante nor expected a happily ever after from one kiss.
I very much enjoyed the layout of the game in this book and how it “wasn’t just a game” this time around. It was hard for Tella to tell the difference of real vs. not real (Hunger Games, anyone? lol) and at times it was hard for me as a reader as well. This novel definitely kept me on my toes, and left me NEEDING book three!!!
Overall I rate this book 5/5 stars and would highly recommend it!