Finale (Caraval, #3) – Stephanie Garber


Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫


A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end. . .


Contains spoilers for Caraval and Legendary

Welcome, welcome back to the world of Caraval! I absolutely adore Stephanie Garber’s writing and the magical world she has created in Caraval and Legendary.

After the ending of Legendary, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that Finale would be different because the actual Caraval games are over and that the Fates would come into play, but beyond that I had no ideas. I definitely enjoyed the story of Finale, but it didn’t capture my heart and imagination as much as Caraval and Legendary did.

The story of Finale follows Scarlett, Julian, Tella, and Legend as they deal with the repercussions of the Fates being freed. It follows the different love that the characters share for one another (Tella and Scarlett, Tella and Legend, Scarlett, and Julian, Legend and Julian). This sounds ridiculous, but I just love all the love!! And where can I find my own Julian!? SWOON!

The part of Finale that fell flat for me was the Fates. After the Fates were released from the Deck of Destiny at the end of Legendary, I was expecting them to be the focus of Finale. This was only slightly the case. The Fates were in the story, but minimally and sporadically. I was disappointed by this because the Fates are such cool villains and characters! I wanted more interaction, epic fight scenes, and more magic! I wanted more fun adventure like we experienced in Caraval and Legendary. We only get to see little moments of the Fate’s terrifying powers. It just wasn’t what I expected. Finale was primarily a love story with a couple moments with the Fates. And that’s ok. It just wasn’t what I was hoping for.

That all being said . . .

Stephanie’s writing is as magical as ever. I was only eleven pages in and I had already written down three quotes. Stephanie is a master at using beautiful quotes to create exquisite imagery and a stunning atmosphere.

“Caraval might have been over, but here Tella was, inside of a dream with Legend, floating over waters of stardust and midnight while fireworks continued to fall from the sky as if the heavens wanted to crown him.”

One of my favorite images that Stephanie writes is the clothing!! I don’t know how she comes up with all the fantastical dresses! I love watching Scarlett’s magic dress change, or Tella wear the most extravagant gowns. The clothing is more than just outfits . . . It is part of the characters and their personalities.

Overall, I liked Finale. It was a love story with gorgeous imagery. I still adore Stephanie’s world and magic. I will definitely miss being in the magical world of Caraval.

Legendary (Caraval, #2) – Stephanie Garber



Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval

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.

REVIEW (Spoiler Free):

Welcome back to the world of Caraval! I have been eagerly waiting Legendary since I finished Caraval. I actually bought two copies! The US edition (cover pictured above) and the U.K. edition with the mystery covers (I got the Aracle and it’s beautiful!).

Our story picks up the morning after the end of Caraval party. Tella wakes up with her letter and coin from her “friend”. Tella needs to repay her “friend” for helping her contact Legend for the previous game. To repay him, Tella must learn Legend’s true name. We discover that there is going to be another Caraval right away. It will be in the city of Valenda to celebrate the Empress Elantine’s birthday. On the boat ride to Valenda, Tella learns that she must participate in the upcoming Caraval and win to learn Legend’s name. I won’t include anything else from the plot to avoid spoilers!

I loved being back in Stephanie Garber’s fantastical world of Caraval. Legendary starts off very different compared to Caraval. This time around the story is told from Tella’s point of view. We begin seven years ago, where we learn about the “Fates” and the “Decks of Destiny” which are used to predict the future. However, these decks are very dangerous because once a future is foretold it becomes a living thing and fights to bring itself about. Tella finds her mother’s (Paloma) deck and draws 3 cards…the Maiden Death, the Prince of Hearts, and the Aracle. I was immediately captured by this story. It was so ominous and creepy. This short prologue is our first introduction to one of the main plots in Legendary…the Fates. I absolutely loved learning about the Fates and their mythology. Garber put a lot of thought into each Fate, their history, and mythology. It was so interesting and unique!

In Legendary, the world of Caraval expands and we travel to a new city…Valenda. Stephanie Garber’s writing is absolutely beautiful. She truly has a gift when it comes to the way she describes everything. Valenda is a stunning city with so much detail. All of Garber’s imagery is so beautifully done. Some of my favorites were the Caraval symbols in the stars, the dresses, and the Fates. I started to get lost in the story as soon as the Caraval troupe and our protagonists arrived in Valenda. I instantly found myself asking, “Has Caraval started already?” and “Is this part of the game?”. I think that I had a harder time telling what was real and what was part of the game in Legendary than I did in Caraval. We are told multiple times that the game is different this year, and that added to the confusion! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again), Garber is able to create a captivating environment that leaves the reader guessing the whole time.

It’s no secret that I was not a fan of Tella in Caraval. I found her extraordinarily selfish and horrible to her sister, Scarlett. I started Legendary uneasy about Tella. She definitely began as the same selfish girl, but as the story progressed, I was able to watch as Tella grew and developed into a better person. I finished Legendary with a much higher opinion of Tella than when I started. One of my favorite quotes (page 441) is, “Tella had feared that was her true ending. But she was too young for endings. Her adventures were only beginning. They would be bigger than promises, and brighter than constellations. By the end of them, Tella would be the legendary one.” I really loved this quote and I think it shows how much Tella has grown throughout the series.

Now…as for the big reveal…we find out who Legend is in this book. This is a spoiler free review, so I will not give anything away. I will say that I’m a bit disappointed. I thought the reveal was kind of a let down. For the entire book (Caraval and Legendary), I was dying to know who Legend was. I was constantly theorizing and asking is it this person? or this person? I wanted to be shocked, but unfortunately I wasn’t. However, I am looking forward to learning more about Legend in the next book. We got a couple little snippets of his history in this book, but I am hungry for more! The book also ends with a new mystery about Legend. We once again don’t know what is real and what isn’t. I need answers!!

Overall, Legendary was a great story. I was drawn back into Garber’s magical and captivating world. The writing is beautiful and the characters are very well done. I once again got lost in Garber’s world and I can’t wait to continue Scarlett & Tella’s story in the next book.

I wanted to include a couple of other quotes that I loved…

“Glowing brighter than before, they danced into new constellations. She counted more than a dozen, all forming the same bewitching image – a sun with a starburst inside and a glittering teardrop inside of the star. The symbol of Caraval.” (page 104)

“…and Tella would be damned before she allowed any of them to use her like a pawn on a game board again.” (page 375)

“There are two types of endings because most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most. Only those who persevere can find their true ending.” (page 391)


  • I absolutely loved learning about the Fates! I love when authors create their own mythology and Garber’s Fates were no exception! I am hoping we get to explore more of them in the next book.
  • The story and the game are very different this time, but it still felt like the same magical, whimsical, and mysterious world.
  • I started this book not liking Tella, but her character development was fantastic and I can’t wait to hear more from her in the sequel.
  • Garber’s imagery and world building is stunning once again.
  • The Legend reveal was a let down for me. I am curious to see what other readers think! Post in the comments (spoiler free please!) or send me a message of what you thought!
  • Garber once again ended on a big cliffhanger. Many of my questions from Caraval were answered, but now I have even more unanswered questions!! I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

Caraval (Caraval, #1) – Stephanie Garber

caraval cover

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

REVIEW (Spoiler Free):

“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world.”

What a magical and enchanting world! When I received Caraval in my February 2017 “Run Away With The Circus” Owl Crate box I was thrilled! It was very high on my anticipated reads list. Caraval did not let me down at all! It grabbed my attention from the very beginning.

Caraval is a story of family, love, magic, and a mysterious quest. I loved following Scarlett on her journey and discovering clues and obstacles with her. I felt like I was right there with her in the game of Caraval.

Caraval is pure magic. Stephanie Garber does an exceptional job of building a stunning world. The writing is beautiful and lyrical. I was absolutely captivated. The game of Caraval is mystical, mysterious, and whimsical. At the beginning of the game, Scarlett is advised that Caraval is a performance and to be careful to not get too swept away. It was so difficult to remember that Caraval is just a game. Garber does an excellent job of creating an environment where the reader is unable to determine what is real and what isn’t. The twists were very clever and unexpected. I was holding my breath at each twist and turn.  My theories about Legend and the game changed multiple times while reading. It kept me on my toes throughout the entire story.

At the heart of Caraval is Scarlett’s relationship with her sister, Donatella (Tella). The have a beautiful relationship and have always protected each other from their abusive father. The truly love and care for one another. However, Scarlett and Tella are opposites. Scarlett craves stability and safety, but Tella is a dreamer and desires adventure. At times, both characters are difficult to like. Scarlett is naive and too trusting. She always puts Tella’s well-being before her own, and Tella seems to take advantage of this. Tella does have good intentions, but her methods are difficult to understand. I will not say any more to avoid spoilers!


  • Caraval is a beautiful, whimsical, and sensory world filled with magic, adventure, quests, and love.
  • All of the characters are flawed, but I loved going on this adventure with them. I can’t wait to learn more about their lives and worlds outside of the game.
  • Caraval ends on a cliffhanger and  I have so many questions! I am so excited to find out what happens next.
  • I cannot wait for the sequel, Legendary, to discover more about the game of Caraval and its master, Legend.