Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Tella watched as her sister, Scarlett, played the game known as Caraval. Caraval is only ever played once a year—except this year. Another game will be played in honor of the empress' birthday and this time it will be Tella's turn to play. A "friend" offers to help Tella find her mother if she wins Caraval and gives him the true name of the Caraval master, known only as Legend. The game is on. Tella will find, as Scarlett did before her, that the only way to win Caraval is to give your whole self to rescue the people you love most.
A taut, spinning mystery and well-written game of chance and wit, this book is a wonderful sequel to Caraval. Trying to guess where the story is going is almost as futile to the reader as it is to those involved in the game. Unexpected twists await behind every corner as reality and game twirl into an indistinguishable mix. The romance is lusty but restrained, and the romantic tension gives the story a great deal of its intrigue. Both Tella and Scarlett's characters can be a challenge to relate to, in ways that are similar to the critisism of Bella in the Twilight series. They are very self-involved and a little clueless in a game where clue interpretation is the point. They are both devoted to each other, to a personal compass of right and wrong, and to courage. This makes it worth joining them on another adventure through myth and mystery.
*Contains mild violence.