Author: Stephanie Garber
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Flatiron Books
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.
This was my second time reading Legendary (to prepare for Finale’s release in May!) and I can honestly say I enjoyed it even more the second time around! This is the book that truly captures my heart and made me incredibly invested in this series. If you want to read my original review of Legendary head here. Be warned though, I was still new at reviewing and hadn’t found my voice yet, also the formatting is atrocious so please don’t judge me 🤣
One of the main reasons I like Legendary more than Caraval is because I enjoyed Donatella’s story much more than Scarlett’s. Caraval is told from Scarlett’s point of view, which is fine and was a good start to this series but I actually found Scarlett to be rather one dimensional and incredibly whiny. Whereas Legendary is told from Donatella’s point of view and I found her story much more enjoyable. She is a more interesting character, she actually has layers and depth and is a complicated person. Donatella has conflicting emotions which I love because it makes her seem more real to me. Even in this book I found Scarlett annoying because all she wanted to do was find fault in Julian and was stilling lusting over the “Count”.
“Dante had wings. And, holy mother of saints, they were beautiful-soulless jet-black with midnight-blue veins, the color of lost wishes and fallen stardust.”
CAN WE TALK ABOUT DANTE FOR A MINUTE 👀 holy god I love Dante with every fiber of my being. This quote (above) is my favorite in the entire series. I gives me the goosebumps just thinking about it. It is such a hauntingly beautiful quote that I want to display everywhere. Dante was a fairly prominent character is Caraval which is where my love for him began, but I would say he is a main character in Legendary which is where my love for him actually blossomed. He is such a cinnamon roll that I just want to give all the love to. He is so caring and devoted and mysterious and I just want to share secrets with him 😉
The overall story line was better in my opinion than in Caraval as well. I guess Stephanie really grew as a write between these two books because I found everything about Legendary to be 10x better! The introduction of the Fates and Jack specifically gave an extra edge to the world of Caraval that made it more interesting to me than just having the sisters running around trying to solve a puzzle. There was an extra layer of danger in this story and it made it that much more compelling to me. Jack and Dante just made this book for me honestly and I am SO anxious to see how it will all end in Finale.
What’s truly funny to me is reading back through my old review and realizing not only how much I have improved as a reviewer but how much I have improved as a reader. I pick up more of the subtleties in books now and can pinpoint what I did and did not like about them. One thing I have realized as a reader is that I absolutely love the lyrical, metaphorical writing. No it is not for everyone but I absolutely enjoy it and find it incredibly beautiful and inviting. Especially with this kind of story it brings the world to life for me. It helps me focus on the build up of the world because it is described so beautifully I just get pulled in and find myself in the center of this world with a crisp and clear definition of the places and people around me. I wish I could find more books written this way 💕
Legendary was a huge improvement from Caraval (which if you read my review for Caraval you’ll know I enjoyed it a lot, you can read it here), and I am very impatiently waiting for Finale to release so I can see how this story I have come to love will end.