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Caraval (Caraval Series #1)

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Caraval (Caraval Series #1)
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Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

“Spellbinding.” US Weekly
“A magnificent debut.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“I lost myself in Caraval and never wanted to come out.” —Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes
“Beautifully written.” —Renée Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn
“Shimmers with magic.” —Marie Rutkoski, author of The Winner’s Curse
“Darkly enchanting.” —Kiersten White, author of And I Darken
“Decadent.” —Roshani Chokshi, author of The Star-Touched Queen
“Like stepping into a living dream.” —Stacey Lee, author of Outrun the Moon
“Destined to capture imaginations.”Kirkus Reviews
"Ideal for fans of The Night Circus, Stardust, and The Hunger Games.SLJ

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . . Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.“Spellbinding.” —US Weekly“A magnificent debut.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review“I lost myself in Caraval and never wanted to come out.” —Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes“Beautifully written.” —Renée Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn“Shimmers with magic.” —Marie Rutkoski, author of The Winner’s Curse“Darkly enchanting.” —Kiersten White, author of And I Darken“Decadent.” —Roshani Chokshi, author of The Star-Touched Queen“Like stepping into a living dream.” —Stacey Lee, author of Outrun the Moon“Destined to capture imaginations.” —Kirkus Reviews"Ideal for fans of The Night Circus, Stardust, and The Hunger Games.” —SLJ
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Product Details
Sales Rank:
16,166
Pages:
416
Publication Date:
01/31/2017
Lexile:
830L
Series:
Caraval Series , #1
ISBN13:
9781250095251
Product Dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x1.40(d)
Publisher:
Flatiron Books
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years
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About the Author
Stephanie Garber loves Disneyland because it’s the one place on earth where she feels as if the fantastical stories she loves to write about could actually come to life. When she's not writing young adult fantasy, she teaches creative writing at a private college in northern California, where she’s known for turning assignments into games and taking students on field trips that involve book signings. Caraval is her first novel for young adults. She would love to hear from you on social media.
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Read an Excerpt

Caraval


By Stephanie Garber

Flatiron Books

Copyright © 2017 Stephanie Garber
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-09527-5



CHAPTER 1

It took seven years to get the letter right.


Year 50, Elantine Dynasty

Dear Mister Caraval Master,

My name is Scarlett, but I'm writing this letter for my sister, Donatella. It's going to be her birthday soon and she would very much like to see you and your amazing Caraval players. Her birthday is the 37th day of the Growing Season and it would be the most wonderfulest birthday ever if you came.

Most hopefully, Scarlett, from the Conquered Isle of Trisda


Year 51, Elantine Dynasty

Dear Mister Caraval Master,

It's Scarlett again. Did you get my last letter? This year my sister says she's too old to celebrate birthdays, but I think she's just upset you never came to Trisda. This Growing Season she'll be ten and I'll be eleven. She won't admit it but she'd still very much like to see you and your wondrous Caraval players.

Most hopefully, Scarlett, from the Conquered Isle of Trisda


Year 52, Elantine Dynasty

Dear Caraval Master Legend,

I'm sorry I got your name wrong in those other letters. I hope that's not why you haven't come to Trisda. My little sister's birthday wasn't the only reason I've wanted you to bring your amazing Caraval players here, I'd love to see them too.

Sorry this letter is short, my father will be angry if he catches me writing to you.

Most hopefully, Scarlett, from the Conquered Isle of Trisda


Year 52, Elantine Dynasty

Dear Caraval Master Legend,

I just heard the news and I wanted to send my condolences. Even though you still haven't come to Trisda or responded to any of my letters, I know you're not a murderer. I was very sorry to hear you won't be traveling for a while.

Most kindly, Scarlett, from the Conquered Isle of Trisda


Year 55, Elantine Dynasty

Dear Master Legend,

Do you remember me, Scarlett, from the Conquered Isle of Trisda? I know it's been a few years since I wrote. I heard you and your players have started performing again. My sister told me you never visit the same place twice, but a lot has changed since you visited here fifty years ago, and I truly don't believe anyone would like to see one of your performances more than I would.

Most hopefully, Scarlett


Year 56, Elantine Dynasty

Dear Master Legend,

I heard you visited the capital of the Southern Empire last year and changed the color of the sky. Is that true? I actually tried attending with my sister, but we're not supposed to leave Trisda. Sometimes I believe I'll never go farther than the Conquered Isles. I suppose that's why I've wanted you and your players to come here so badly. It's probably futile to ask again, but I do hope you'll consider coming.

Most hopefully, Scarlett, from the Conquered Isle of Trisda


Year 57, Elantine Dynasty

Dear Master Legend,

This will be my final letter. I'm going to be married soon. So it's probably best you and your players don't come to Trisda this year.

Scarlett Dragna


Year 57, Elantine Dynasty

Dear Scarlett Dragna, from the Conquered Isle of Trisda —

Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. I am sorry I cannot bring my players to Trisda. We're not traveling this year. Our next performance is by invitation only, but I would look forward to meeting you and your fiancé if you could find a way to leave your isle and join us.

Please accept the enclosed as a gift.

From the pen of Caraval Master Legend

CHAPTER 2

Scarlett's feelings came in colors even brighter than usual. The urgent red of burning coals. The eager green of new grass buds. The frenzied yellow of a flapping bird's feathers.

He'd finally written back.

She read the letter again. Then again. And again. Her eyes took in each sharp stroke of ink, every waxy curve of the Caraval master's silver crest — a sun with a star inside and a teardrop inside of the star. The same seal was watermarked onto the enclosed slips of paper.

This was no prank.

"Donatella!" Scarlett plunged down the steps into the barrel room in search of her younger sister. The familiar scents of molasses and oak snaked up her nose, but her scoundrel of a sibling was nowhere to be found.

"Tella — where are you?" Oil lamps cast an amber glow over bottles of rum and several freshly filled wooden barrels. Scarlett heard a moan as she moved past, and she caught bits of heavy breathing as well. After her latest battle with their father, Tella had probably drunk too much, and now dozed somewhere on the floor. "Dona —"

She choked on the last half of her sister's name.

"Hullo, Scar."

Tella flashed Scarlett a sloppy grin, all white teeth and swollen lips. Her honey-blond curls were a mess as well, and her shawl had fallen to the floor. But it was the sight of the young sailor, with his hands wrapped around Tella's waist, that made Scarlett stutter, "Did I interrupt something?"

"Nothing we can't start up again." The sailor spoke with a lilting Southern Empire accent, far smoother-sounding than the sharp Meridian Empire tongues Scarlett was accustomed to.

Tella giggled, but at least she had the grace to blush a little. "Scar, you know Julian, right?"

"Lovely seeing you, Scarlett." Julian smiled, as cool and seductive as a slice of shade in the Hot Season.

Scarlett knew the polite response would be something along the lines of "Good to see you, too." But all she could think about were his hands, still coiled around Tella's periwinkle skirts, playing with the tassels on her bustle, as if she were a parcel he couldn't wait to unwrap.

Julian had only been on the isle of Trisda about a month. When he'd swaggered off his ship, tall and handsome, with golden-brown skin, he'd drawn almost every woman's eye. Even Scarlett's head had turned briefly, but she'd known better than to look any longer.

"Tella, mind if I pull you away for a moment?" Scarlett managed to nod politely at Julian, but the instant they'd woven through enough barrels to be out of his hearing she said, "What are you doing?"

"Scar, you're getting married; I would think you'd be aware of what occurs between a man and a woman." Tella nudged her sister's shoulder playfully.

"That's not what I'm talking about. You know what will happen if Father catches you."

"Which is why I don't plan on getting caught."

"Please be serious," Scarlett said.

"I am being serious. If Father catches us, I'll just find a way to blame it on you." Tella gave a tart smile. "But I don't think you came down here to talk about that." Her eyes dropped to the letter in Scarlett's hands.

The hazy glow of a lantern caught the metallic edges of the paper, making them blaze a shimmery gold, the color of magic and wishes and promises of things to come. The address on the envelope lit up with equal luster.

Miss Scarlett Dragna Care of the priests' confessional Trisda Conquered Isles of the Meridian Empire


Tella's eyes sharpened as she took in the radiant script. Scarlett's sister had always liked beautiful things, like the young man still waiting for her behind the barrels. Often, if Scarlett lost one of her prettier possessions, she could find it tucked away in her younger sister's room.

But Tella didn't reach out to take this note. Her hands remained at her sides, as if she wanted nothing to do with it. "Is this another letter from the count?" She spat out the title as if he were the devil.

Scarlett considered defending her fiancé, but her sister had already clearly expressed her thoughts on Scarlett's engagement. It made no difference that arranged marriages were very much in fashion throughout the rest of the Meridian Empire, or that for months the count had faithfully sent Scarlett the kindest letters; Tella refused to understand how Scarlett could marry someone she'd never met in person. But wedding a man she'd never seen frightened Scarlett far less than the thought of staying on Trisda.

"Well," Tella pressed, "are you going to tell me what it is, then?"

"It's not from the count." Scarlett spoke quietly, not wanting Tella's sailor friend to overhear. "It's from the master of Caraval."

"He wrote you back?" Tella snatched the note. "God's teeth!"

"Shhh!" Scarlett pushed her sister back toward the barrels. "Someone might hear you."

"Am I not allowed to celebrate now?" Tella retrieved the three slips of paper hidden within the invite. Lamplight caught their water seals. For a moment they glowed gold, like the edges of the letter, before shifting to a dangerous shade of bloody crimson.

"Do you see that?" Tella gasped as swirls of silver letters materialized across the page, slowly dancing into words: Admit One: Donatella Dragna, of the Conquered Isles.

Scarlett's name appeared on the other.

The third only contained the words Admit One. Like the other invites, this was printed above the name of an isle she'd never heard of: Isla de los Sueños.

Scarlett imagined this nameless invitation was meant for her fiancé, and for a moment she thought of how romantic it could be to experience Caraval with him once they were married.

"Oh, look, there's more!" Tella squealed as new lines of script appeared on the tickets.

To be used once, to gain entrance into Caraval.

Main gates close at midnight, on the thirteenth day of the Growing Season, during the 57th year of the Elantine Dynasty. Anyone who arrives later than this will not be able to participate in the game, or win this year's prize of one wish.

"That's only three days away," Scarlett said, the bright colors she'd felt before turning to her usual dull shades of gray disappointment. She should have known better than to think, even for a moment, that this could work out. Maybe if Caraval were in three months, or even three weeks — sometime after she was married. Scarlett's father had been secretive about the exact date of her wedding, but she knew it would not be in less than three days. Leaving before then would be impossible — and far too dangerous.

"But look at this year's prize," said Tella. "A wish."

"I thought you didn't believe in wishes."

"And I thought you'd be happier about this," Tella said. "You know people would kill to get their hands on these?"

"Did you not see the part where he said we need to leave the isle?" No matter how badly Scarlett longed to go to Caraval, she needed to get married even more. "To make it in three days, we'd probably have to leave tomorrow."

"Why do you think I'm so excited?" The glimmer in Tella's eyes grew brighter; when she was happy, the world turned shimmery, making Scarlett want to beam along with her and say yes to whatever her sister desired. But Scarlett had learned too well how treacherous it was to hope in something as illusive as a wish.

Scarlett sharpened her voice, hating herself for being the one to crush her sister's joy, but better she than someone who would destroy even more than that. "Were you also drinking rum down here? Have you forgotten what Father did the last time we tried to leave Trisda?"

Tella flinched. For a moment she looked like the fragile girl she pretended so hard not to be. Then, just as quickly, her expression changed, pink lips curving once again, shifting from broken to unbreakable. "That was two years ago; we're smarter now."

"We also have more to lose," Scarlett insisted.

It was easier for Tella to brush aside what had happened when they'd attempted to go to Caraval before. Scarlett had never told her sister the entirety of what their father had done as retribution; she'd not wanted Tella to live in that much fear, to constantly look over her shoulder, to know there were worse things than their father's standard forms of punishment.

"Don't tell me this is because you're afraid it will interfere with your wedding." Tella gripped the tickets tighter.

"Stop." Scarlett grabbed them back. "You're going to crinkle their edges."

"And you're avoiding my question, Scarlett. Is this about your wedding?"

"Of course not. It's about not being able to get off the island tomorrow. We don't even know where this other place is. I've never heard of Isla de los Sueños but I know it's not one of the Conquered Isles."

"I know where it is." Julian stepped out from behind several rum barrels, flashing a smile that said he'd make no apologies for listening in on a private conversation.

"This doesn't concern you." Scarlett waved him away with her hand.

Julian looked at her strangely, as if a girl had never dismissed him. "I'm only trying to help. You've never heard of this isle because it's not part of the Meridian Empire. It's not ruled by any of the five Empires. Isla de los Sueños is Legend's private isle, only about two days' journey, and if you want to go there I can smuggle you onto my ship, for a price." Julian eyed the third ticket. Thick lashes lined his light brown eyes, just made for convincing girls to lift their skirts and open their arms.

Tella's words about people who'd kill for the tickets echoed in Scarlett's mind. Julian might have had a charming face, but he also had that Southern Empire accent, and everyone knew the Southern Empire was a lawless place.

"No," Scarlett said. "It's too dangerous if we get caught."

"Everything we do is dangerous. We'll be in trouble if we get caught down here with a boy," Tella said.

Julian looked offended at being referred to as a boy, but Tella went on before he could argue. "Nothing we do is safe. But this is worth the risk. You've waited your whole life for this, wished on every fallen star, prayed as every ship came into port that it would be that magical one carrying the mysterious Caraval performers. You want this even more than I do."

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world. Her grandmother's words played in Scarlett's head as she looked at the slips of paper in her hands. The Caraval stories she adored as a young girl never felt more real than they did in that moment. Scarlett always saw flashes of color attached to her strongest emotions, and for an instant goldenrod desire lit up inside her. Briefly, Scarlett let herself imagine what it would be like to go to Legend's private isle, to play the game and win the wish. Freedom. Choices. Wonder. Magic.

A beautiful, ridiculous fantasy.

And it was best to keep it that way. Wishes were about as real as unicorns. When she was younger Scarlett had believed her nana's stories about Caraval's magic, but as she'd grown, she'd left those fairy tales behind. She'd never seen any proof that magic existed. Now it seemed far more likely that her nana's tales were the exaggerations of an old woman.

A part of Scarlett still desperately wanted to experience the splendor of Caraval, but she knew better than to believe its magic would change her life. The only person capable of giving Scarlett or her sister a brand-new life was Scarlett's fiancé, the count.

Now that they were no longer held up to the lamplight, the script on the tickets had vanished and they looked almost ordinary again. "Tella, we can't. It's too risky; if we try to leave the isle —" Scarlett broke off as the stairs to the barrel room creaked. The heavy tread of boots followed. At least three sets.

Scarlett shot a panicked look at her sister.

Tella cursed and quickly made a motion for Julian to hide.

"Don't disappear on my account." Governor Dragna finished his descent, the sharp odor of his heavily perfumed suit spoiling the pungent scents of the barrel room.

Quickly, Scarlett shoved the letters into her dress pocket.

Behind her father, three guards followed his every step.

"I don't believe we've met." Ignoring his daughters, Governor Dragna reached a gloved hand toward Julian. He wore his plum-colored gloves, the shade of dark bruises and power.

But at least he still had the gloves on. The picture of civility, Governor Dragna liked to dress impeccably, in a tailored black frock coat and striped purple waistcoat. He was in his mid-forties but he'd not let his body turn to fat like other men. Keeping with the latest fashion, he kept his blond hair tied back with a neat black bow, showing off his manicured eyebrows and dark blond goatee.

Julian was taller, yet the governor still managed to look down upon him. Scarlett could see her father appraising the sailor's patched brown coat, and his loose breeches tucked into scuffed, knee-high boots.

It said much about Julian's confidence that he didn't hesitate before offering the governor his own, ungloved hand. "Good to meet you, sir. Julian Marrero."

"Governor Marcello Dragna." The men shook hands. Julian attempted to pull away, but the governor held on tight. "Julian, you must not be from this isle?"

This time, Julian did hesitate. "No, sir, I'm a sailor. First mate of El Beso Dorado."

"So, you're only passing through." The governor smiled. "We like sailors here. It helps our economy. People are willing to pay a lot to dock here, and they spend more money while they visit. Now, tell me, what did you think of my rum?" He waved his free hand around the barrel room. "I imagine that's what you were down here tasting?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Copyright © 2017 Stephanie Garber. Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Dedication,
Map,
Isle of Trisda,
The Night of Caraval Eve,
Night One of Caraval,
Night Two of Caraval,
Day Four of Caraval,
Night Four of Caraval,
Night Five, the Last Night of Caraval,
The Day After Caraval,
Epilogue,
Acknowledgments,
About the Author,
Copyright,

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Editorial Reviews
Caraval is The Night Circus Jr., with a dash of Alice in Wonderland and a sprinkle of Fantasy Island.★ 10/17/2016
At the start of Garber’s magnificent debut novel, the mysterious Master Legend invites sisters Scarlett and Donatella Dragna to attend Caraval—a magical multiday event that is part spectacle, part treasure hunt. Although their tyrannical father has threatened death if they leave home without his permission, Tella strikes a deal with a roguish sailor named Julian for transport to Legend’s private island—a plan that essentially involves kidnapping the conflicted Scarlett, who is weeks away from marrying a man she’s never met. Upon arrival, Tella is taken, and it’s revealed that she is the subject of this year’s hunt. Scarlett and Julian join forces to find her, but in a game in which secrets are currency and appearances deceive, Scarlett has no way of knowing whether she’s a Caraval player or Master Legend’s pawn. Intriguing characters, an imaginative setting, and evocative writing combine to create a spellbinding tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and hope. While the search for Tella drives the narrative, Scarlett’s quest for self-empowerment is equally captivating. Scarlett and Julian’s chemistry intoxicates, and Garber’s tantalizing conclusion will leave readers hungry for a sequel. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jenny Bent, Bent Agency. (Jan.)

Spellbinding.—US Weekly

A magnificent debut . . . a spellbinding tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and hope.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This twisty, terrifically fun page-turner is ideal for fans of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Neil Gaiman's Stardust, and fantasy novels where relationships between sisters drive the plot, such as The Hunger Games. VERDICT: A must-have fantasy debut for high school collections." —School Library Journal

“Caraval sweeps you into a treacherous and romantic world that takes center stage in this story of two sisters and their longing for more.” —Justine

A spellbinding tale of sisterhood, love and betrayal. Like her characters, I lost myself in the dangerous, enchanting world she created—and never wanted to come out.” Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember In the Ashes and A Torch in the Night

“Enchanting and mysterious, Stephanie Garber's Caraval is a story rich with sumptuous detail, beautifully written.Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn

"Caraval shimmers with magic. This is an inventive, delightful tale with several aces up its sleeve." —Marie Rutkoski, New York Times bestselling author of the Winner's Trilogy

“In a book where nothing is at it appears, one thing is certain: Caraval is the darkly enchanting adventure you’ve been looking for!” —Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken

“A decadent and enchanting tale. Caraval will sink its teeth into you, and you will not want to leave." —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

"A tale of sisterly devotion painted in colors of cerise and shimmering gold. If you ever wondered how it would feel to step into a living dream, here's your ticket." —Stacey Lee, critically acclaimed author of Outrun the Moon

"Stephanie Garber doesn't just dazzle—she makes me believe." —Jodi Meadows, New York Times bestselling coauthor of My Lady Jane

Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets. Immersive and engaging...destined to capture imaginations.” —Kirkus Reviews

An enchanting mix of mystery, romance, and magic, this immerses readers in its gorgeous setting with lush prose. The setting is a captivating blend of beauty and danger . . . the chemistry between Scarlett and Julian is intoxicating. Readers will want a return ticket to this one.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Rich, vivid scene-setting and descriptions make for entertaining reading . . . a colorful, imaginative fantasy with some steamy romance for good measure.” —ALA Booklist

09/01/2016
In this YA fantasy debut, Scarlett, who lives on a small island with her sister and icily domineering father, receives an invitation to Caraval, a fabled audience-participation performance taking place once a year. It's shortly before her arranged marriage, but Scarlett sneaks away to attend. A likely crossover title pitched as having a Night Circus-like atmosphere; with sales to 25 territories and preempted by Twentieth Century Fox.2016-09-19
Magic, mystery, and love intertwine and invite in this newest take on the enchanted circus trope. Sisters raised by their abusive father, a governor of a colonial backwater in a world vaguely reminiscent of the late 18th century, Scarlett and Donatella each long for something more. Scarlett, olive-skinned, dark of hair and attitude, longs for Caraval, the fabled, magical circus helmed by the possibly evil Master Legend Santos, while blonde, sunny Tella finds comfort in drink and the embraces of various men. A slightly awkward start, with inconsistencies of attitude and setting, rapidly smooths out when they, along with handsome golden-brown sailor Julian, flee to Caraval on the eve of Scarletts arranged marriage. Tella disappears, and Scarlett must navigate a nighttime world of magic to find her. Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. Dresses can be purchased for secrets or days of life; clocks can become doors; bridges move: this is an inventive and original circus, laced with an edge of horror. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets. Immersive and engaging, despite some flaws, and destined to capture imaginations. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

New York Times Bestseller
Entertainment Weekly Top 10 YA Novel of the Year
#1 ABA IndieNext Pick
Publishers Weekly Flying Start
CBC Teen Choice Book Award Finalist
Teen Vogue Best YA Book of 2017
BuzzFeed Best Book of the Year
ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults List

“The Hunger Games meets The Night Circus in this tale of two sisters enmeshed in a deadly game. Grade: A-” —Entertainment Weekly

“There are elements of Neil Gaiman fantasy, Wizard of Oz, and Hunger Games killer competitiveness in Stephanie Garber’s debut. But what’s most impressive is how original her wondrous Caraval really is. Garber creates a world brimming with energy, mystery, surprises, backstabbing, and even some unforeseen romance.” —USA Today

“Spellbinding.” —US Weekly

“Caraval is The Night Circus Jr., with a dash of Alice in Wonderland and a sprinkle of Fantasy Island. If blood and madness, ‘shameless curves and immoral promises’ entice you, well, come to the cabaret.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A magnificent debut, and a spellbinding tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and hope.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This twisty, terrifically fun page-turner is ideal for fans of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Neil Gaiman's Stardust, and fantasy novels where relationships between sisters drive the plot, such as The Hunger Games. A must-have fantasy debut for high school collections." —School Library Journal

“Caraval sweeps you into a treacherous and romantic world that takes center stage in this story of two sisters and their longing for more.” —Justine

“A spellbinding tale of sisterhood, love and betrayal. I lost myself in this dangerous, enchanting world—and never wanted to come out.” —Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember In the Ashes and A Torch in the Night

“Enchanting and mysterious, Stephanie Garber's Caraval is a story rich with sumptuous detail, beautifully written.” —Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn

“Caraval shimmers with magic. This is an inventive, delightful tale with several aces up its sleeve." —Marie Rutkoski, New York Times bestselling author of the Winner's Trilogy

“In a book where nothing is at it appears, one thing is certain: Caraval is the darkly enchanting adventure you’ve been looking for!” —Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken and Paranormalcy

“A decadent and enchanting tale. Caraval will sink its teeth into you, and you will not want to leave.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

“A tale of sisterly devotion painted in colors of cerise and shimmering gold. If you ever wondered how it would feel to step into a living dream, here's your ticket.” —Stacey Lee, critically acclaimed author of Outrun the Moon

“Stephanie Garber doesn't just dazzle—she makes me believe.” —Jodi Meadows, New York Times bestselling coauthor of My Lady Jane

“Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets. Immersive and engaging . . . destined to capture imaginations.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Readers invested in the sisters’s fates (not to mention the outcome of steamy will-they-or-won’t-the? tension between Scarlett and Julian) will hang on tight and enjoy the ride. Garber’s darkly beautiful and brutal magical world is the star here, full of luscious details that invite readers to linger.” —The Horn Book

“An enchanting mix of mystery, romance, and magic, this immerses readers in its gorgeous setting with lush prose. The setting is a captivating blend of beauty and danger . . . the chemistry between Scarlett and Julian is intoxicating. Readers will want a return ticket to this one.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Rich, vivid scene-setting and descriptions make for entertaining reading . . . a colorful, imaginative fantasy with some steamy romance for good measure.” —ALA Booklist

10/01/2016
Gr 8 Up—Scarlett and her sister, Donatella, have been raised on a remote island by a demanding and cruel father. Scarlett is about to be married to a man she's never met, and though her long-held dream of receiving an invitation to Caraval, the once-a-year, fantastical, immersive performance, has come true, she believes attending would jeopardize her wedding and destroy her sole chance to get herself and Tella away from their father. When her sister teams up with a sailor to trick Scarlett onto a ship and take her anyway, the heroine plans to stay for a night or two, then return home for her wedding. But then Tella is kidnapped by Legend, Caraval's mysterious mastermind, and the protagonist learns that she can get her sister back only if she plays Legend's game for five nights—and wins. It won't be easy, though. Nothing (and no one) at Caraval is what it seems: time speeds up, clothing morphs according to its own agenda, and players may be called on to pay for things with their deepest fears or two days of their lives. Without knowing whom she can trust, including her own reason and senses, Scarlett must work out where her sister is and how to save her. This twisty, terrifically fun page-turner is ideal for fans of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Neil Gaiman's Stardust, and fantasy novels where relationships between sisters drive the plot, such as "The Hunger Games" or Rosamund Hodge's Cruel Beauty. VERDICT A must-have fantasy debut for high school collections.—Stephanie Klose, School Library Journal
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Customer Reviews (67)
A highly enjoyable novel that whisks you away into a whimsical esc ...
A highly enjoyable novel that whisks you away into a whimsical escape from reality. Unpredictable with a satisfying ending that also leaves you wanting more.
- TElizabeth97
February 22, 2017
What do we have in this book? Sisters that will do anything for ea ...
What do we have in this book? Sisters that will do anything for each other. Magic. Evil Father. Missing Mother. Adventure Legend. Love. And I probably missed a few others. This book will be one of my favorites for time to come! Who wouldn't want to get away from their abusive, controlling father. Especially one that will not let his 2 daughters leave their island, and controls the elder sister by punishing the younger. That is why Scarlett writes to Legend, the magician that runs Caraval. She wants him to come to her island, but after a death he refuses to leave his island, and leaves Scarlett's letters be unanswered. That is until, Scarlett announces, in her last letter to him, that she is to be married to a man that her father doesn't want her to meet until the wedding. She is sent 3 tickets to this years Caraval. One for her, one for her sister, and one for her betrothed. Scarlett has to find a way there! Step in Julian. Once there, she has to figure out what is real and what is part of the game. She thinks she is going mad when she sees her father, and her sister goes missing. I read the entire book in less than 6 hours! I could not put it down! The whole story grips you and won't let you go until that cliffhanger ending. I need the second book, NOW! Thank you Flatiron Books and NetGalley for the digital ARC of this book, which made this honest review possible.
- BooksforKatie
March 10, 2017
The most magical book I have ever read... I love how everything is ...
The most magical book I have ever read... I love how everything is written smoothly and so thoughtful. Its something that brings out the imagination out of me. From page one, it will stick like glue to you. Legend is a Legend. I would recommend this book a million times!!!
- leesalights
April 6, 2017
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Caraval (Caraval Series #1)
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Caraval (Caraval Series #1)
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Caraval
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