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Series: Yes, #1 in the Caraval series
Release date: January 31st, 2017
Length: 407 pages
Source: ARC from BEA16
Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.
A mesmerising, magical and stunningly imaginative debut novel for anyone who loved The Night Circus and Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
I struggled sooooo hard with what to rate this. There's one thing about Caraval I can unequivocably rate five stars, and that is the imagery. I'm an EXTREMELY visual reader, so it makes sense that by far my absolute favorite part of Caraval were the visuals. I could see this place completely. I wanted to live in in and roll around in it and eat it. It was sumptuous and the descriptions were wildly evocative. I'm glad this has a good chance of becoming a movie, because I could already see it in my mind, and it was stunning. The writing--after the bizarrely clunky opening chapters--is STUPENDOUS. The metaphors and rich details and sumptuous setting really accented the whimsy and seductive madness of the magic.
I want to live inside Caraval. It's vivid and rich, I want to read a million stories set in it...
...starring different people.