Rating: 5/5 Stars
Remember, it’s only a game…
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.
I loved this book! I finished this book in two days which is a record for me. It is a quick and fun read that is full of suspense and interesting characters. At first Scarlett Dragna is a little wishy washy in the vein of a stereotypical romance heroine: loyal to a fiance she has never met and not as determined as she should be to escape her father’s cruel hand. Scarlett’s sister Tella is much more adventurous and rebellious. Despite their vastly different personalities they are very close.
When Scarlett receives her long-awaited illusive invitation to Caraval she is not as excited as she should be because her wedding is so close at hand. Through events out of her control and the introduction of Julian, a sailor with his own agenda, Scarlett is thrown into the world of Caraval with just Julian and in search of her sister who has gone missing.
This story has the feel of a strange dream where every wrong thing happens despite your attempts to do the right thing and things just keep getting worse. It kept me on my toes and the suspense level was constant. I loved trying to figure out which characters were trustworthy and what events were real or just part of the game. It was nice to see Scarlett toughen up and open up to others and be driven by her love for her sister. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next book in this series.