By Elizabeth Engelman, Teen and Outreach Librarian
NOTE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM CARAVAL BY STEPHANIE GARBER. PLEASE DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO KNOW WHAT OCCURS IN CHAPTERS 35-EPILOGUE OF THE NOVEL. THANK YOU.
And here we are at the end. Scarlett has found her sister! She tries to convince her, Tella, she is in danger and that they must escape. Tella treats her as if she is insane and Scarlett tries to prove she is right by showing her the invitation to Tella’s funeral, but now it reads as an invitation to a party hosted by Legend. Tella humors her about the invitation and then tells Scarlett she is engaged to someone she met while at Caraval. She asks Scarlett to meet him and when he arrives, Scarlett realizes he is Legend, the one who has been tormenting her the entire time.
When Scarlett tries to tell her sister about Legend, he denies it and insists Scarlett is insane. He eventually convinces Tella that Scarlett must be tied up for her own safety. The girls’ father and Scarlett’s fiance then arrive through a secret door. Legend admits to Tella who he really is. Tella is devastated by the information and moves to the balcony rim. Scarlett escapes from the ropes and tries to talk her sister from the edge. Tella won’t listen and steps off the balcony.
Scarlett has now lost two people she cares about in one day. Her father approaches her and tells her that he was trying to protect her and has killed for her. The count denies any involvement in those murders, but Scarlett can see he is still playing games. After she confronts her father, and tells him she will not marry the count, she realizes she won the game and can make any wish, including wishing someone back from the dead. She tries to make Legend give her the wish and he refuses. She then remembers Julian gave her his blood to give her back one day of life. She tries to revive her sister by giving her some blood. It doesn’t work.
As the game ends at sunrise, Scarlett returns to Tella’s room where she finds a letter between Tella and Legend about playing the game. Scarlett finds out that the man claiming to be Legend is another actor, named Caspar. She also finds out that Tella has been corresponding with Legend and, in fact, struck a deal with Legend that she was willing to die because someone loved her enough to wish her back to life and Legend would then help them. Scarlett believes this to be a foolish bargain, but Tella appears behind her. Tella tells her about the game, the tests, and the final outcome. Tella also tells her that Julian is not really dead and will be at the party.
When they get to the party, Julian is indeed there. They have an intense conversation where he tells her he is Legend’s brother and a player in the game. He begs Scarlett for her forgiveness and she grants it. They end up in a passionate embrace.
As the book closes, Tella observes Scarlett and Julian and is very happy for them. She wishes for someone of her own to kiss and ends up dancing with a stranger who disappears. She then finds a note in her pocket which talks about her mother being proud of her and a debt owed to “A friend”.
I enjoyed the book quite a bit. There were quite a few unanswered plot points such as who and where the girls’ mother is, what is the debt Tella owes, who Legend really is and why does he play so many games?
I know this is to set up a sequel, but I would have liked a bit more of world-building. I also thought Julian’s and Scarlett’s relationship was a bit brief, not insta-love, but not as in depth as it could have been. I will read the next book, Legendary, which is available at the library. What did you think of the book and will you continue on?
Elizabeth Engelman is the Teen and Outreach Librarian. Her desk is in the corner behind the new checkout station. She doesn’t have one favorite book, because it is too hard to make a choice from all the wonderful books out there. Ask her and she’ll tell you a few she really likes. Other than reading (what librarian doesn’t like to read?), she enjoys swimming, gardening, wine tasting, watching movies, and cooking.