One of the books we’ve been asked a few times to cover on the podcast was last year’s breakout debut Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Here’s the thing: I liked Caraval, but I didn’t love Caraval. My biggest issue with the book was that I didn’t understand why Scarlett was the protagonist while her much more interesting sister Donatella was waiting in the wings.
Lucky for me, the sequel, Legendary, changes gear and Tella gets to take center stage. Kudos to Stephanie Garber, because this was a fantastic choice. Tella was a dynamic, active protagonist in all the ways I was missing with Scarlett. Tella also gets not one but two mysterious, morally compromised love interests, for which I will be forever grateful. (Surprising to no one: I found the romance a bit too saccharine for my taste in Caraval)
Legendary also followed my most important rule for sequels–the stakes have to be raised in order to keep my interest. Caraval was truly a game, an insular story with only the fate of the Dragna sisters at play, while Legendary expands to bring the fate of the world onto the table.
With its more immersive worldbuilding and mythology, dangerous romance, and compelling lead, Legendary is worth picking up for anyone who read Caraval and will leave you anxiously awaiting the grand Finale in the series coming out next year!
As always, big shout out to the publisher, Flatiron Books, who was kind enough to send us an early copy to (p)review!