Image via Stephanie Garber

Welcome to Caraval, a game of mystery, deceit, and adventure. All you have to do is get invited and you are in; the journey of a lifetime awaits!

Scarlett has dreamed of attending Caraval ever since she was a little girl. The magic, the suspense, and, most importantly, the magnificent prize for the winner. But as she knows, it is very unlikely for her to ever get invited or to be able to escape the treacherous life she has to live, protecting herself and her sister, Tella, from their wicked and sadistic father. With little chance of ever escaping or having even a glimmer of hope for any happiness in life, Scarlett writes to the head of Caraval, Legend. But after years of writing, a letter comes back from the notorious Legend, an invitation that could mean both freedom and complete disaster for both Scarlett and Tella. With the opportunity of a lifetime and great odds to surpass, Scarlett and Tella must fight for love, break away from their toxic father, and pave their own destinies.

Caraval’s real excitement begins with Scarlett and Tella leaving their home behind to pursue their dreams of participating in the wildly popular game known as Caraval. When a rough and heroic sailor named Julian arrives to help the two sisters accomplish their dreams, everything seems to be going according to plan. But as Scarlett soon realizes, Caraval is nothing like she expected — deception and shady figures lurking around every corner. As Scarlett and Tella arrive, they soon discover that there are two choices that come with their invitation: watch or play. The choice is theirs: Will they play it safe and enjoy their time away from home, or is the temptation and desire to play for the prize of a lifetime worth the risk?

Stephanie Garber’s debut novel is everything I had hoped for and more. From the dazzling cover to the larger than life characters, Caraval is both sophisticated and a true pleasure to read. The entire concept of Caraval was extremely well-developed, and I found myself completely absorbed into the world and into the intensity and romance that is spilled onto each and every page of the book. For the first time, I was unable to find any elements of the novel to complain about; it is that good. With an enjoyable plot, a heart-racing romance, and a competition that is anything but certain, young adult readers are sure to find Caraval to be one of their very favorite reads of 2017. 

Caraval is here, and you are invited. Take your ticket, join the game, but make sure to be inside when the sun comes out, or you’re disqualified. On January 31st, Stephanie Garber invites readers to enter into the excitement of Caraval, solving the mystery of the game as well as the facades of each and every character presented in the novel. Nobody is what they seem, and the truth is relative. Discover the magic and delight of Caraval, and follow Scarlett and Tella as they take their fates into their own hands, taking the biggest risk of their lives.

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