Book Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Book: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Published May 2018 by Flatiron Books|451 books

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Caraval #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

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.

After reading Caraval last year, and really liking it, I knew I had to pick up Legendary.  I was so curious about where things were headed, especially after how things ended.  Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book as much as I wanted to, which is a shame, because I liked the first book so much.

A lot of the questions I had at the end of Caraval were actually answered.  That surprised me, because I tend to have a lot of questions that are not never answered, and things don’t always go where I think they’re going to.  This book does focus more on Tella and her mom, and I did like that Legendary focused on that.

I didn’t like Tella’s story as much as I thought I would.  Don’t get me wrong, everything that happened to their mom was sort of interesting, and I’m glad we learn what happened to her, and why she disappeared.  I still think there’s more to it than what we got in the book, but at least we got the gist of what happened, and what Tella did during Caraval.

I didn’t like Tella, and though she admits to not being perfect and to making mistakes, I also wish we had Scarlett back.  She was a lot slower to figure things out, and…I don’t know.  As much as I wanted to know what she did at the end of Caraval, I kind of wish it had been in a different way or with a different character.  Or maybe it’s just Tella.

The magic was gone from this one, and it wasn’t the game I was expecting it to be.  I know the rules of this particular game are different than the previous one- it would be boring if it were- but it was not the magical game I thought it would be.  It was boring and I had expectations that were not met.

I hate that I wasn’t into this one, because the world of Caraval is so cool and unique.  This book had the power to be really cool and magical, like Caraval.  I don’t know if the world is better suited to one book, or if it’s because this one was narrated by a character I wasn’t into, but I do know it could have been more magical.

I still want to read the next one, because I do like the world just enough that I want to keep going.  I’m hoping this is a case of middle book syndrome, and the next one will be better.  I don’t think I’ll being going into it with the high expectations that I had with this one, especially since it seems like it might focus more on Tella, and she isn’t exactly my favorite, but maybe we’ll get more of Scarlett, and that will help.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that.

There were some things that came up in this book that were never mentioned in the previous book.  Looking back, maybe it didn’t have a place in the first book, but had more of a place in this one.  I wish the deck of fates had more explanation, and I wish it had somehow been introduced in the first one, but there’s nothing we can do about that.  There were some interesting things about this world, and while it wasn’t really expanded on in this book, there’s still part of me that hopes we’ll see more it in the next one.

2 stars.  I didn’t like it as much as Caraval, but I can see why so many people love it.  I wish it were for me, but I am curious to see what happens next.

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