Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Legendary by Stephanie GarberLegendary (Caraval #2)
Stephanie Garber
Flatiron Books
Published on May 29, 2018

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Legendary
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.

My Review
I really enjoyed Caraval (see my review), but Tella’s character in that story seemed shallow, and I didn’t like the way she treated her sister, Scarlett. At the end of Caraval, I wasn’t sure if I was going to read Legendary. Then a few people said how much they enjoyed it, and that Tella’s character in Legendary is a lot different than the way she comes across in Caraval, so I decided to give it a try.

And I’m really glad I did. As soon as the story begins and we get to see Tella’s point-of-view, it’s clear there’s a lot more going on in her heart and mind than fun and adventure. She carries some deep wounds from her mother’s disappearance. She’s promised herself never to love because she believes it will only lead to heartbreak. Ultimately, I found her much more compelling in Legendary than I expected.

I also totally got into the way Caraval gets switched up. When Scarlett played the game, everything was magic and make-believe, and she was constantly cautioned not to take the game seriously. This time, over and over, Tella is told that the game is real. There are a lot of layers of intrigue. Tella searches for clues to the identity of the game master and races to find her mother before the game ends. The stakes were high, the plot was fast-paced. It kept me hooked from start to finish.

The last book in the series, Finale comes out later this year, and I’m already eager to read it.

Legendary on AmazonRecommended for Ages 14 up.

Cultural Elements
Legendary takes place in a fantasy world which feels like it has a lot of European/Spanish influence. Tella and her sister are fair-skinned. Julian is described more like he’s Spanish.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
At the beginning of Legendary, Tella wakes up after spending the night with a young man in the woods. She’s still dressed, and other than kissing, details about what happened between her and the boy are vague. She has a personal rule for herself never to fall in love and rather to just have fun, only kiss someone once, etc.
Some descriptions of kissing between a girl and boy get pretty intense. At one point, he puts his hand under her top and over her heart.

Spiritual Content
Tella visits a tattooed fortune teller looking for information. She also depends on readings from an oracle card which shows the future.

Violent Content
Masked opponents attack a young woman, critically wounding her.

Drug Content

Legendary on Goodreads

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

One Response to Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

  1. I really didn’t like Caraval, but I heard that Legendary was a lot better so I gave it a go…and I loved it! SO GOOD. I can’t wait for Finale!