Book Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

I am really bad at keeping track of when sequels or “next-in-series” books are coming out. So when I got back into the swing of things on Bookstagram and realized that Legendary had come out over a month ago, I smacked myself. And then I promptly went out to get it, once I’d realized that I actually could, within the bounds of my book-buying ban.

As per my husband’s suggestion, I’m trying very hard to only bring one book into our home for every five that I read. I started tracking in June. So, when I realized Legendary was out, I checked my list and discovered that I had read enough books to buy it! Easy decision. I liked Caraval, but I wasn’t over the moon about it. But everyone who felt the same way about it as I did were seriously loving on Legendary, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

I didn’t regret it! But let’s not get to that until I cover the usual bases of my reviews.

Here’s the synopsis of the book, pulled from Amazon:

“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.”

The cover of Legendary is just as gorgeous as the first book in the series:

I was going to be drawn to this book regardless of the cover because it’s a sequel, but it’s nice that it’s super pretty!

Finally, here’s my review of Legendary!

When I reviewed Caraval, I said that the writing felt scattered, and that I didn’t really like the main character, Scarlett, much, because I found her really over-dramatic.

The most major difference in the writing style of Legendary is the narrative perspective. This time, the story centres around a new narrator, Scarlett’s sister Donatella (Tella)! Given that she is an entirely different person, I liked her personality a lot more than Scarlett’s. This made the book way more enjoyable to read.

Second, I think that the “scattered” feeling I talked about for Caraval is gone for Legendary. Perhaps that can be chalked up to writing experience? As far as I know, Caraval was Garber’s first novel.

In addition to being a major improvement on CaravalLegendary itself is just a really good book. Just like its predecessor, the plot is exciting and always keeps you guessing. The magic of this series is so unique and interesting, and the dangers get even more real in this second instalment. I read it in a single day, and loved every page.

Other Awesome Stuff

I think I said this about Caraval too, but the design of this book, inside and out, is just gorgeous. There are section dividers for each day of Caraval (I don’t think that’s too much of a spoiler), and the chapter dividers are also beautiful. I’ve already mentioned how much I love the cover. I think what steals the show though, is the map at the beginning of the book! It’s absolutely beautiful!

Overall, 5/5 stars!

I highly recommend this magical tale of love, sacrifice, and mystery.

Happy Reading!

– Paperback Patronus

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