Book Review: Caraval (series)

This book series captured my heart. It’s YA and has everything you want when it comes to escapist reads. I tore through all three books (Caraval, Legendary, and Finale) in about a week. Then I thought about the series constantly. It was somehow satisfying and left me craving more at the same time.

I won’t detail the second or third books because I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I can let you know how the whole series kicks off and tease the general concept. Scarlett and Donatella are sisters who are essentially trapped on a remote island by their violent and domineering father. They may not be able to leave but have always loved the idea of participating in Caraval, an annual traveling circus of sorts. Caraval is a game that is organized by Master Legend and run by magic. Yes, magic. Players travel from far and wide to be swept away into another world and hopefully win an incredible prize.

Scarlett is set to be married off – her chance to start a new life for herself and sister – but days before the wedding she receives an invite to Caraval. Suddenly, Scarlett finds herself as a player in this year’s performance where everyone is competing to find Donatella. There’s lying, murder, and, of course, love. Scarlett is repeatedly told it’s just a game, but the stakes seem just a bit too high…

If you enjoyed The Night Circus, this is the YA guilty pleasure version. This book series is dreamy. It had my heart racing and wrapped up in the fantasy. This is how a fairy tale is supposed to make you feel.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pair with: Pomegranate champagne cocktail with rock candy and cotton candy garnish