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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
I really enjoyed Caraval and was so excited for the sequel to come out. I had loved Scarlets story and wanted to find out more about Tella! So I was really disappointed when I actually started reading Legendary and found it just couldn’t keep my attention. It just didn’t seem to have the same excitement that Caraval had and I really started to dislike the same characters we had met in the previous book.
A New Twist (That I Didn’t Really Enjoy)
I’m going to be blunt: I’m just not buying into the angels and new history that Garber introduces in this book. Everything about the Fates and gods just felt forced and the conversations between Tella and Jacks were just frustrating. This new addition of a separate kind of magic and all new characters to learn about (and fear) felt rushed and forced and didn’t seem to connect with the first book. Legendary almost felt like the beginning of a whole new series, which was jarring. We also find out more about some characters from the first book, and I started getting really annoyed with Scarlet. Her relationship, which ended on such a high note, spends this entire novel on the defense and it felt like Scarlet spent most of this book crying.
Tella Kept Making Poor Decisions
The biggest disappointment in this book was Tella; she spends so much time trying to prove how independent she is, but really just ends up making bad decisions and following along the plans of others. The number of times she stops and thinks that something is a bad idea and then decides to do it anyways to annoy Dante is so frustrating! What happened to the girl who ran away from a brutal father and bargained for her and her sister’s lives? This felt like a very watered down version of the Tella from Caraval and I was so frustrated and disappointed with her throughout the book.
Push To The Finish
Legendary was a big struggle to finish for me; I had to constantly force myself to pick it up again and continue reading or stop myself from just skimming pages to get to the end of chapters. I kept waiting for the moment where I would be sucked into the story, like I had been in Caraval, but I just never got to that point. I really can’t put my finger on why I just didn’t find the magic in this book, but it simply wasn’t there for me.
I originally thought this was the end of the series, but it’s now clear that there will be a bird book. I think the biggest pitfall of this novel was that Garber started including storylines that didn’t exist in the first one; it’s as if this was a duology that accidentally turned into a trilogy and she had to scramble to come up with ideas for how to include one more book. The magic of Caraval was missing in this book, but I’m hopeful that we’ll see it again when the third (last?) book of the series comes out next year.
FINAL RATING: 3/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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