Title: Legendary

Author: Stephanie Garber

Series: Caraval, #2

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Release Date: May 29th 2018


Five Stars

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 fulfil 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.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“So,” she said cautiously, “is all this your way of telling me you’re the villain?”
His chuckle was dark. “I’m definitely not the hero.”
“I already knew that,” Tella said. “It’s my story, so clearly I’m the hero.”

Caraval is over. Scarlett won freedom for herself and Tella but now a new game is being set up, and it very quickly becomes obvious that this time around Caraval is not simply a game. In order to pay back the bargain she made Tella needs to take part in Caraval and win, so she can discover Legend’s true name, but when she comes face to face with her mysterious friend Tella quickly realises how out of depth she truly is.

Legendary was one of my most anticipated releases of this year. Before picking it up I’d heard plenty of people saying it was even better than Caraval and from what I read I agree. Very quickly the stakes in this new game are set higher than they were in the previous book. Caraval and the world it exists in are opened up and expanded on in Legendary, giving us new players to figure out and a new villain to face alongside Tella.

“Legend truly did deserve the name he’d given himself. Tella wondered if Legend’s games ever ended, or if his world was an endless maze of fantasy and reality that left those caught inside it forever suspended somewhere between the two.”

As Tella follows the clues Legend has left through Valenda she quickly finds herself in over her head; dealing with a murderous heir to the throne who isn’t what he seems, long gone Fates who are at last waking up, and tangled secrets which have Tella doubting the one person she thought she’d always be able to rely on. The nights pass quickly, and if Tella can’t deliver Legend by the last night of Caraval she’ll not only lose her mother, but her own life.

In many ways this book seemed more real. In Caraval it was never made clear how much of Scarlett’s experience was fantasy and how much was reality, but in Legendary everything is both fantastical and real, and the warnings Tella receives have very serious consequences. Caraval is no longer a place for make believe and magic, instead it’s a battle between Legend and the Fates themselves, a battle Tella has somehow found herself in the middle of.

…The Characters

“She was far from silly or worthless or whatever labels people liked to affix because a person was young and female. Tella liked to think that was where much of her strength came from. She was bold. She was brave. She was cunning. And she was going to come out of this triumphant.”

Tella was willing to risk everything, believing in her sister’s love for her, and now she’s willing to do the same all over again for their mother. Tella may be seen as flighty and irresponsible to the world, she refuses to believe in love, but she loves her family fiercely and is willing to do anything for them. Her death in Caraval has not left her unscathed, she fears Death but at the same time it’s made her stronger because she won’t give into Death without a fight again.

“Dante gave her a smile so dissolute and devastating, Tella swore it made the bridge a little weak. But she couldn’t let it make her weak. Too much was at stake tonight, and she’d already kissed him once.”

Dante was always an enigmatic character in Caraval, and he doesn’t become too much clearer in Legendary. He is determined to one-up Tella whenever they see each other, but one of his lies to outsmart her ends up leaving her in more danger than he could have predicted. Dante seems to be on the outskirts of this game, following Tella’s progress the same way her mysterious friend is, but when she needs the help he steps in even if it means risking himself.

The relationship between Dante and Tella started out as nothing more than a bit of fun, they kissed to feel alive again after both dying in Caraval. Neither of them believe in love or relationships, but they keep going back to one another even when they would normally walk away. They’re constantly going toe to toe, fighting to get a rise out of the other, but every time they interact there’s something slowly building between them.

“Scarlett was Tella’s person—the one someone in the world whom Tella could always count on. Tella might not have believed in falling in love, but she had literally bet her life that Scarlett loved her. Tella would destroy the world before she allowed anything to happen to her sister.”

Tella and Scarlett’s bond as sisters is one of the strong points of this series in my mind. Like in Caraval the two don’t spend much time together in Legendary, although this time it’s Tella playing the game with Scarlett on the sidelines, but we get to see their relationship through Tella’s eyes. While Scarlett has always been protective over Tella Tella feels the same way about Scarlett, but she’s willing to risk so much more to keep her sister safe.

…The Setting

“As fantastical as Caraval might feel, the next five nights are very real.
Elantine has invited us here to save the Empire from her greatest fear.
For centuries the Fates were locked away, but now they wish to come out and play.
If they regain their magic the world will never been the same, but you can help stop them by winning the game.”

In Legendary we travel to Valenda and as Tella takes part in the game we follow her from Elantine’s palace and the golden tower where she is staying, to the Spice Quarter where all the unsavoury bargains are made, to the Temple District where people worship the Fates, the Stars and even Legend himself. It was a fantastic world to explore but the development of the world itself was what had me hooked. We’re introduced to the Fates who fled the world so many years ago; the Prince of Hearts, the Undead Queen and Her Handmaidens, and the Aracle To name a few, all of them have fascinating back stories which we’ve only really begun to learn more about.

Stephanie Garber has a way of ending her books which wraps up the story but still leaves me desperate for the next in the series, and that’s exactly what she’s done again here. Legendary expanded on the world and the characters to give us a faster-paced story, which  was better than I’d hoped it would be (and my hopes were high).

What did you think of Legendary? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

21 thoughts on “Legendary

  1. I’m kinda scared to read Legendary. I liked Caraval but I don’t know it wasn’t the best and I didn’t really like Tella. I’ll still give it a try but I’m hesitant.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I get what you mean, and there’s the hype surrounding this release as well which is pretty intense. From what I’ve seen a lot of people have enjoyed Legendary more than Caraval, I was one of then but I quite liked Tella in the first book so maybe I’m not the best judge. Still I hope you enjoy this one when/if you do pick it up. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OH Beth I am thrilled you enjoyed this book so, so much – I liked Caraval, but I think I had my expectations set way too high, so I wasn’t blown away by it overall. I might have to give Legend a try though, really curious about that one, you make it sound so good 🙂 Lovely review! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Caraval was just so hyped up, I mean in the end I really loved it but I know a lot of people were disappointed. Legendary is much better (and it’s not just me saying that either, so you know it’s not just my own admittedly biased opinion). I really hope you enjoy it too Marie, better than you enjoyed Caraval at the very least, and thanks so much! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a very hard time with Caraval and still had the same feelings towards Legendary LOL but I do agree its a bit better 😀 I love reading about your point of view ! Makes me seeing things a bit differently 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I know a few people like that; not massive fans of Caraval but still enjoyed Legendary a little more. I guess maybe I’m one of the rarer readers because I’ve loved both. 🙂
      Well, even though you’re not a massive fan of the books I’m glad you enjoyed my review Trang (also yes the whole different perspective on books is why I love reading different rated reviews for the same books you know?) 😀


  4. With how many mixed reviews I’ve seen of Caraval, I was really curious to see how the reception for the sequel would be. Love that the author plays with reality/fantasy and lets the reader determine what’s what. That sounds like a lot of fun. Awesome review, Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I loved Caraval but I am aware of how many mixed reviews there are for it. It does seem that a lot of the people who weren’t a massive fan of book one loved Legendary, so it’s a series that gets better.
      Definitely a fun read, I was hooked, and thanks Lashaan! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. this review is so amazing and now I want to read this series!! c:
    I was so scared because I read so many negative reviews for the first book, but if the second just gets better I have sm faith.
    SIBLING BONDS!!! And a maybe-couple w two people who don’t believe in love!! (which is always a fun trait in characters)
    But most of allll I’m so excited for the sisters being close and supporting each other and sdjfksjdfksj SO CUTE AND ADORABLE.
    platonic/sibling relationships are my favorite,,, i’m 100% sold ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, and oh Malanie this is a series I’d highly recommend! I’m one of those people that loved Caraval but I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews so I get what you mean, but so far it seems that a lot of people who didn’t enjoy Caraval as much loved Legendary, so the series does get better if you get through the first book. 🙂
      The sister relationship in both books is great (I love strong family bonds in YA books so that was a plus for me). Yes, definitely be sold, I’m sure this will be a series you enjoy too! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.