Caraval was one of those surprise favourites where the world just sucked me in a for a whole day, so I was excited to pick up the sequel, Legendary. However the story didn’t grab me quite as much and I could see the flaws in the writing this time. Not to say it wasn’t enjoyable, but not to the same extent.

Every good story needs a villain. But the best villains are the ones you secretly like, and my nana always said Legend was the villain in Caraval.

After Scarlett won the last Caraval, it is announced that there will be another, sooner than expected, in honour of Elantineโ€™s Day. Tella has been writing to a mysterious friend who now demands payment for his help, the true name of Legend himself. The only way she can get this is to win Caraval.

Legendary introduces the mother’s story. Tella has seen her fate in the cards and believes her mother is still out there. She wants to find her and she needs this stranger’s help. The Decks of Destiny are similar to tarot and the secret covers for this edition show some of the cards relevant to this story. Tella has always distanced herself from romantic love because of the cards and that comes to a head here.

I do like the darker aspects of the story, deadly kisses and playing with the fates, but at times the characters seemed a bit flat. For the first few chapters I couldn’t remember which sister did what in the previous book, they just didn’t have their own personalities. They were both writing to unknown men, they would have been sucked right into the Nigerian prince scams had they lived in modern times. I liked Dante though and could even cope with Tella’s pretense of not-liking him.

I know Caraval can be magical and romantic and wonderful, but the spells it casts aren’t easily shaken off, and half the time I don’t even think people realize they have been bewitched.

Knowing the secrets of Caraval make it less mysterious and exciting. We know everyone could be lying, can come back from death and Tella knows the identities of Legend’s players. I understand the game was used so that Tella could be led to do something, but it felt a little repetitive at the start. She’s given so many advantages so she can win, I’m not sure she is clever enough for this game otherwise.

I hope the final book is not yet another game of Caraval. It does pick up a lot near the end and certain events mean I am very likely to read the conclusion.

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Book Source: Purchased