Page Count 416/ POV First person
Publication date Jan 18/ Publisher Hodder & Stoughton
Price £4.99/ Purchased From: Amazon Kindle (10/08/18)
Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems . . .
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.
***************Beautiful world building is a must for me with fantasy novels and Caraval really raised the bar. I felt the balance of description, action and dialogue was perfectly done.
I did find the use of colour jarring, it felt like a ploy, as if it was inserted as an afterthought to differentiate Garber’s writing style. Describing emotions and tastes as colours felt out of place and instantly snapped me out of my zone.
I loved the idea of Legend and Caraval, the game with it’s rules and performers were brilliant fun to read. There’s a scene in the clock shop early on that I thought reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland, I was hooked from that moment on.
The character development in this novel was a tad predictable but well written, which meant the romance subplot became an easy going path through the whirlwind that is Caraval. Though I do adore a strong sisterly bond in female characters and Garber did this beautifully with Scarlett and Donatella.
All told with riddles, magic, tricksters and desperation, Caraval was exactly the twisting, turning tale I’d hoped it would be.