Despite liking, not loving, Caraval I was super excited to get my hands on Legendary – and it was the story that intrigued me, but the collectable covers certainly helped! I absolutely sped through this book due to my enthusiasm. General intrigue helped me through the first chapters and the incredible story with twists and turns kept me going!
Ok, I really need to say this – I found Legendary to be far superior than Caraval. I prefer the story, the character focus, the plot, the twists – just everything!
Legendary picks up exactly where Caraval left off, which is a touch I really appreciated, and actually quite clever so that Garber didn’t have to explain what the characters have been up to since Caraval – I mean, it’s not like life can go back to normal desk-job after that, right?!
Legendary is much more character-driven than Caraval was, and as whimsical as the magic of Caraval was, I’m super glad we get to know the characters a little more. The best part of this is that Legendary is told from Tella’s perspective. I wasn’t a massive fan of Tella in Caraval – she seemed flippant and stereotypically the ‘rebel girl’ but, to be fair, we didn’t really get to know her that well. After only a few short chapters of Legendary I was completely sold on Tella – in fact I loved her! I far prefer her to Scarlett.
Legendary gets to boast a deeper plot, and much higher stakes, than its predecessor – which I absolutely devoured and enjoyed every second I was lost in. There’s a lot of mystery throughout the book, and despite no extensive list of characters, the ones we
do have are complete enigmas. Even the ones we already know like Scarlett! We don’t know who is telling the truth, who’s lying, who knows what – we don’t know what’s real or what is part of Caraval or what is magic from the Fates!
“Gold shimmered no matter what, but few people could make darkness glitter the way he did.”
That’s right! We have extra magical sources in Legendary that make Caraval look like a children’s card trick! These Fates are trapped in a Deck of Destiny but when/if they get out their powers are truly astonishing!
But back to the mystery! Obviously, the biggest mystery is trying to figure out who Legend is, but for me, I had a mini-mystery moment where I legitimately thought Dante was the Prince of Hearts!
But back to the man, the mystery, the Legend – sorry, I couldn’t resist. Regular readers of mine will know that my reviews aren’t spoiler friendly, but in case you’re new [SPOILER ALERT] there’s your warning.
So Legend. My gosh, I couldn’t figure out who he was. I went back and forth and practically thought everyone was Legend at one point; “He’s Legend, no no wait, HE’S Legend. No, he is, ok back to the first guy!” But when all is said and done, I didn’t see it coming that Dante was Legend! Oh, Dante – but I’ll get on to him later! (not literally of course, although I WISH!)
“He was so warm, a human shield sheltering her from the test of the world.”
Legendary introduces much more magic than Caraval did and on a much larger scale. Yet, there seems to be less magic involved. Now that might sound weird, but it’s because the magic is hanging out in the background rather than constantly being described in every other chapter (like in Caraval).
Actually, I think that the lack of magic helped the writing out a lot. I found Caraval to be full of silly descriptives that were downright ludicrous at some points. Unfortunately Legendary doesn’t escape them entirely (check out these crackers; “… covering the room in embers of luminescent cherry, gold and lavender that hinted at magic curses and rebel pixie dust.” and “The air tasted like wonder. Like candied butterly wings caught in sugared spiderwebs, and drunken peaches coated in luck.”)
Some people might find the lack of blatant, in-your-face magic to be a negative for Legendary and might not find it as thrilling as Caraval as the sheer weirdness of the actual Caraval is put on the back-burner, but I loved that. I experienced Caraval in Caraval – I wanted something new for Legendary and I got it.
Right, on to the eye-candy…imagination-candy…literary-candy? On to the hotties! First, let me just say that I find the best villains are the ones that I kinda like, for whatever reason – against my better judgment. Enter Jacks. Even when it became known that he was the Prince of Hearts, I was still like “I’d kiss him!”.
Jacks was completely engrossing as a character and I loved when he was on page! But for as great as Jacks was, he pales in comparison to the one and only tall, dark and handsome Dante.
” “You can’t take apart my dress on these stairs.” “Does that mean I can take it apart somewhere else?” His low voice oozed dark promises. “
Now, I know that Dante is Legend, but as we aren’t 100% sure on Legend’s motives and end-goals and we know more about Dante – even if it’s just a persona I’m going to separate Dante and Legend as if they are two people.
There’s no getting around it: Dante is sexy as hell. (In fact a lot of the book is quite sexy!) I could not get enough of him. Obviously he’s physically attractive, and we are reminded of that many times (hey I’m not complaining!) but he – as a person – is also sexy! He’s flirty, cheeky and so confident and it ticks so many boxes for me! I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about him whilst reading Legendary and was hoping he’d appear on the next page!
Moving on from pure carnal lust to romance. There is more romance in Legendary than in Caraval, and I’m not usually one for romance in YA as I often find it to be ham-fisted. But I was LIVING for the romance here.
I didn’t just ship the romance – I sent an ARMADA!
But often with romance, comes physical acts of love. Early on in the book, Tella talks about kissing boys (and later talks about this with Dante) and honestly, every time this was brought up in this way I crossed the word out in my mind and wrote in ‘had sex’ because, let’s be honest – these are older teenagers (well, we’re not sure with Dante). Hormones are gonna hormone and there’s no way that older teenagers in a magical setting surrounded by beautiful people aren’t going to be jumping on each other.
I never wanted to stop reading Legendary; I thoroughly enjoyed every single page. There were plenty of unexpected turns, a great cliff-hanger and it was expertly paced.
I can’t wait until the final book (aptly called Finale) comes out early next year!
It’s going to be a long wait to finish the story, and to get more Dante! But I’m sure it’ll be worth it!
“But I believe he loves you; it’s clear to anyone who sees the way he looks at you. You’re the starlight to his darkness, and if you feel the same about him, you should give him another chance.”
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this review – all the opinions are honest and my own.