“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 in between the two.”
Welcome, welcome to my review of Legendary by Stephanie Garber!
This book is the sequel to Caraval which was one of my favourite reads of last year. I remember giving Caraval five stars because this ya-fantasy really bewitched me with its magical story and beautiful writing style. And, yes, I would really like to meet Stephanie Garber in person one day because I believe that she is such a nice and positive person always eager to interact with readers on her social media platforms. I waited a year to have this book in my hands and I was so excited when finally starting it that I literally told everyone about it. It was totally worth it and I will have to go through the wait again if I wanna read the third (and final?) book which comes out in 2019!
Want to know more about Caraval? Here’s my full spoiler free review!: Welcome, welcome to ‚Caraval‘ by Stephanie Garber! 🌹🌟🎩
What is Legendary about? (SPOILER FREE)
As Legendary is the sequel, it follows all the characters of the first book traveling to the city of Valenda where the second Caraval (a usually once in a year magic performance, a bit like a fair but SO different) is taking place. Unlike the first book this one’s story is told from the POV of Tella Dragna; Scarlett’s sister. While Tella may seem like an innocent girl she actually is pretty reckless, careless, independent and bound to a bargain she has to fulfil if she wants to rescue herself, her sister and Caraval itself.
Why Legendary was not a 5 star read for me
- Tella was the main character in this book and to be honest I didn’t like the idea at first because she was pictured as a very rashly person but it turned out differently. I liked Tella though I think that she’s a very typical ya heroine. She already knows a lot about Caraval, she takes the risks and she really seems fearless the whole time which makes her a really badass female main character. And though Tella and Scarlett are sisters they have really different ways of dealing with this magical but very real performance. So there are many aspects I liked better in this book. There was more action and more curiosity but I missed the deals at Caraval Scarlett had to unwillingly do and the ‘planned’ things. Of course Tella didn’t embark on a lot of things Scarlett would have done. Tella already knows how deceitful Caraval can be unlike her sister who couldn’t help herself from doing what Legend wanted from her.
- Another thing I want to mention is the world building in this one which was on the one hand a really interesting aspect because it shows how the world outside of Caraval is working but it is Caraval itself what I am here for. I think that the whole magic was more like a background story in Legendary and I hope that this is changing in the Finale. I want more potions to buy in a bottle in exchange for a secret or the last lie you told someone changing rooms and dresses.
- What led me to the decision of giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 is the fact that WE KNOW TOO MUCH. While I didn’t know what the heck was going on in Caraval this sequel was predictable at times and the mystery was gone (more about this in the spoiler section). I missed the atmosphere of not knowing a thing and I think that is because of Tella’s POV since she is more experienced with the tricks of this magic performance.
- The Romance was… okay…? Because of Julian and Scarlett playing minor roles in Legendary there was another romance developing and I am not sure if I am a fan of it. And there is a love triangle. Just in case you’re wondering. I don’t know why and I don’t know what to think of it but I do know that we are going to come back to it next year.
“Every good story needs a villain.
But the best villains are the ones you secretly like.”
As I already mentioned I was more than excited about reading Legendary because as the title is already revealing this book gives us more information about Caraval’s master mind Legend who is said to be ‘nowhere and everywhere’. I have to agree with that statement because while reading Caraval everyone had their own theories and assumptions about this character. It was impossible not to imagine Legend with a black top hat in mind and I was more than suprised when it was revealed that he actually doesn’t wear one and well, that he has a couple of tattoos and that WE ALREADY KNOW HIM!!
So, Dante is Legend and Legend is Dante. Thinking about it now it was pretty obvious… I mean there were so many hints given but it just wasn’t predictable and I am still shocked because I would have never thought about it being true. It was an option of course and even our main character Tella considered it but she also was sceptical thinking things like: But why would Legend spend his precious time during Caraval with me? He surely has better things to do during this time! And that was my point not believing in Dante being Legend. I was almost entirely sure that we haven’t even met the real Legend yet!! I didn’t believe the reveal. I thought it was an act until I read the very last sentence of the book. So, even I as a reader don’t know what’s real and what’s not anymore. I am still not over it. But what a plot twist Stephanie! Well played. 👏🏼 Though I don’t know what to think about that. It changes my whole view on Caraval because I have to accept that every single time Dante appeared in Caraval as well as in Legendary it was Legend himself. Oh my goodness.
Now after having revealed the mystery of Legend’s identity I can never read about Dante the same way before which means I am gonna read Caraval a third time and Legendary a second time at one time or another. This makes re-reading even more fun!
So we know that Legend is Elantine’s true heir. And since Elantine was an empress that would make Legend a prince or even an emperor after her death!! or something, right? And when Legend is a royal Julian is too since they are brothers which means our lovely sisters Scarlett and Tella fell in love with the royal family. WAHHHH. Scarlett loves the reckless sailor and Tella loves the hero of her sister’s childhood. This is so well thought-out. ʸ(ᴖ́◡ु⚈᷉)♡⃛ But can we please have interactions between Julian and Legend?? I am dying for this and I wanna see some bromance please. Same goes for Scarlett and Tella.
But why the hell did Scarlett have a problem with Julian?! I am glad that they are a couple again but I missed them a lot and I want switching POV’s of all the characters please.
Let’s talk about the Fates an the Deck of Destiny which were in my opinion fantastical elements to this story!! But who would have thought about Paloma being a criminal and inside a paper prison?? I am really excited for the reunion of the mother and their daughters.
The moment Jacks appeared at the ball and the Prince of Hearts role was already mentioned in the story I knew that the rude boy from the sky carriage was Elantine’s murderous heir. What I didn’t know was that he was the Prince of Hearts and it was even more confusing that he eats apples in all kinds of colours! What I thinks about Tella being his one true love?? That should have been a bigger part of the story! I somehow wanna see that in the final book.
So, what about Scarlett’s REAL fiancée? I bet that we are going to meet him in the final book. Is he going to be someone we already know? I don’t think so since we already had that but I don’t see why Scarlett is so interested in finding out who he is. I mean, it’s over. She has Julian. Why not stick to him? I don’t buy this “I-wanna-have-a-choice-between-men” stuff because I think she has already found her perfect match. What is it then? Wanting Julian to be jelaous? I don’t know, guys but maybe we’ll find out next year.
My rating for this book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I feel like there was more magic and beautiful writing in Caraval while Legendary was more about making choices and taking risks. I know that the majority of people enjoyed Legendary more than Caraval but I like it the other way around. This was a wonderful read for sure but there were a few things missing for me I wish to see in the next book again. I really adore this whole series and can’t wait for the next and final book of it.
“Not everyone gets a true ending. 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.”