Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Caraval is one of those books that grabbed my attention from page one and just wouldn't leave my mind. It took me by surprise in the best possible way with vivid world-building, an intriguing set of characters and a plot full of twists.
Scarlett and Tella live with their over-protective and abusive father, constantly in fear of what the next punishment will be. Their father has arranged a marriage for Scarlett which she hopes will be the beginning of freedom for her and her sister but then an invitation to the legendary Caraval arrives and is impossible to ignore.
The relationship between Scarlett and Tella is one that I really liked. Whilst there is a small romance, it didn't get in the way of the sisterly relationship and the drama going on there. They both know what their goals are and their love for each other comes before the boy they've just met.
One of the central points running throughout the book is that Caraval is just a game - nothing that happens is real. Things start to get darker and weirder as we get further into the “game” though and Scarlett, as well as the reader, just can't be sure. If you see something happen with your own eyes, right in front of you, then you can be sure that it's real, right? The mystery of what is actually going on, and who Legend is, is so well done. I had some theories early on, was convinced I had it figured out, and then the plot twists in a completely different way. I love that. There's nothing better than a story that keeps you guessing all the way through and presents you with a revelation that you just didn't see coming.
Full of action, intrigue and alluring prose, I was completely swept away into the bewitching world of Caraval. I can't wait to experience the further twists that the sequel is sure to present.