‘Legendary’ by Stephanie Garber utterly destroyed me.
Synopsis: Tella is on a mission to find her mother. She’s requested the help of a stranger who now wants payment. However, the price is very much out of reach, unless Tessa plays Caraval and wins the game. Offering up this alternative, Tessa is marked by her mysterious friend who is actually the Prince of Hearts – a Fate that has escaped and who’s kiss is fatal to anyone but his one true love. Now the stakes higher than before. Can Tella stay alive long enough to win the game, can she keep her heart safe, but most importantly, can she tell the difference between truth and lies?
This book takes place in Valenda, the capital of the Meridian Empire. This game is to celebrate the 75th birthday of the Empress as a gift from Legend. There are areas to the city that have different flavours; such as the Spice Quarter and the Temple District. This game is different to the last as it is REAL, and so it is even harder for players to play because they are unsure what to believe. The prize is also different and the future of the Empire hangs on the outcome.
Tella kept my interest very well in this book. I found her to be brave, smart and although the majority of her actions seem selfish, she showed her true colours at the end. The love that she had for her mother was bordering on obsession in my opinion but if she didn’t have that drive then she wouldn’t have had the courage to do half of it. I liked that she kept reminding herself of what was at stake. It showed that she had a conscience and that contrasted well with some of the other characters. Tella also tried very hard to keep her heart away from Dante and with the way he’s described, I congratulate her for her efforts because I would have handed my heart over in less than a second.
Speaking of hearts, lets discuss both Jacks and Dante. I know Jacks is ONE of the villains in this book but I definitely love him a little. OKAY, A LOT. His ‘no shits given’ attitude is right up my alley and he’s a man of his word. If you put aside the fact that he is a Fate and therefore evil, he’s been pretty darn nice to Tella. Plus, without giving much away, they are connected by fate and I hope that Garber keeps him around in Finale because there’s 100% more to their story together.
Now, Dante ma man. Or Legend? Honestly, I was just as confused as Tella and even though she got to the bottom of the mystery, I’m not sure if I believe it. We were given enough hints throughout the game to who Legend is so the ending wasn’t a huge surprise but it was. I have so many mixed emotions at the revelation that I feel as though I am still playing Caraval. I don’t know what to believe and so I need the next book stat. Please. I think that Dante truly had feelings for Tella and I loved the scenes where they interacted. Their banter was hilarious at times and I had a stupid grin on my face while reading them. However, Tella admitted herself that she didn’t know what role he played in this Caraval so it does seem to point towards his alternate identity. If it is all true, then it’s not too difficult to believe his ulterior motives for the game. I do really want to know what his debt it though!
I wish we saw more of Scarlett and Julian. They were such big parts of Caraval that I was sad to see so little of them in Legendary despite it being Tella’s game. I’m looking forward to see what Paloma’s role will be in Finale and I want to see if what we learnt in this book is genuinely the truth. Legendary blew me away. It wasn’t what I was expecting and it broke my heart.
“Gold shimmered no matter what, but few people could make darkness glitter the way he did.”
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