Ones to Watch in 2017 – Caraval Stephanie Garber.


Publication Date: January 2017 from Hodder and Staughton

Source: Review Copy

Two sisters bound by love and a father they fear escape their tiny, secluded island for the wondrous performance of Caraval, where the audience plays along in a mysterious and magical game of determining what’s real and what’s fantasy. And where only one sister might be brave enough to win the ultimate prize of ‘an impossible wish’...

As a huge fan of Young Adult Fantasy novels – that power they can have to transport you to an entirely different world sometimes more than adult fantasy can do – I was intrigued by Caraval, the obvious comparisons to The Night Circus not withstanding – turns out it is blinking marvellous, entirely magical and a whole lot of yay.

If you like your YA Fantasy with a touch of addictive soul then Caraval is absolutely the book for you – the story is entirely compelling – and nothing in this novel is entirely what it appears to be.

I loved Scarlett as a character – of the two sisters she is the “sensible” one thrown into an entirely nonsensical and often dangerous world, where every corner you turn can be the difference between life and death. Real death? Who knows – like I say nothing is entirely as it appears to be.

Remember its just a game….

Stephanie Garber writes with abandon, her mutli-layered storytelling is beautifully done, with a real eye for genuine misdirection and characters that dig deep. Scarlett, her sister Tella, the enigmatic Julian, plus a whole host of others are all absolutely compelling, surprising and full of depth.  The setting is incredibly imaginative, the small details that bring this world to life are clever and beautifully placed, Caraval is a book you can completely lose yourself in for a few wonderful reading hours.

As the start of a trilogy (I want to say trilogy, I know there is more to come) it was pretty perfect. Having reached the end of the twisty saga I was desperate to read more. That, really, is the defining element when it comes to what I love and what I just like. Caraval I loved.

Highly Recommended.

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Happy Reading!


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