It’s only a game…

This was so magical! The world of Caraval and its performers was so enchanting!

Caraval is an annual performance overseen by Legend, a magical, mysterious figure. Those invited each year get to participate in the game-where the lines between truth and lies, fact or fiction, are blurred.
Scarlett and her younger sister Tella live on a tiny island with their father, the governor. He is abusive and downright evil. He has arranged a marriage for Scarlett, to a man from another island, whom she’s never met. He sends her romantic letters and she can’t wait to get married and be safe with him, away from her father. Tella argues there’s more to life than being safe, and how can Scarlett be so sure the Count she is to marry isn’t more cruel than their father? When they receive tickets to Caraval, Tella hatches a plan for Julian, a sailor, to take her and Scarlett away, against Scarlett’s better judgment.

Once there, Scarlett is swept up in a journey that seems impossible to complete. Full of magic, mystery, and danger, can Scarlett remember what’s real and what’s not?

While I loved this novel as a whole I was disappointed in two things: Scarlett was annoying and idiotic a lot of the time, but I guess that’s what made the character. The other thing I disliked was the supremely extravagant and somewhat disappointing ending, but it does lead in to a sequel, which is nice.

If you like highly descriptive, synesthesia-esque fantasy with a little romance thrown in, I highly recommend picking this up!

I received an advance copy of this novel via Netgalley. All opinions are my own!