Review | Legendary by Stephanie Garber

May 2nd 2019: If you are stumbling on this review at this point, there’s a good chance my Finale review brought you here. Just to give you a bit of perspective, my family suffered a pretty big loss while I was reading this book, and I can’t help but wonder if that played a part in my enjoyment. Especially given how much I loved books one and three in this series. I’m not discounting my opinions, but I do wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I’d been in a different frame of mind. I’m not going to take this review down, because it was indicative of my feelings at the time, but I do plan on revisiting Legendary and seeing how I feel the second time around.

Legendary by Stephanie Garber | Caraval #2
Young Adult | Romance
Publication Date | May 29th, 2018



Book Blurb:

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

| Book Review |

Legendary was quite possibly my most anticipated read of the year. I even took half a day off work on its release date because I couldn’t wait to read it! Unfortunately life intruded, and I wasn’t able to dive right in, and that’s fine…that just means my disappointment was put off. It seems everything I loved about Caraval was absent in this book. I liked Scarlett much more than Tella in the first installment, but that’s typical when you get one character’s point of view. I think (most of the time,) it endears you to them. But that didn’t matter – I went into this book prepared to fall in love with Tella’s character. I didn’t, and to make matters worse, I felt like she was dumbed down in this book. Where was the wily vivacious girl we met in Caraval? That certainly was not the Tella in Legendary, and this book suffered because of that. This book also suffered from being a recycled story in that like book one, the object was to find someone (or something in order to find that someone,) and, like Scarlett in book one, Tella was sidetracked by kisses. But even with the game having a clear cut path, this book lacked direction for me. It was here, there and everywhere, and it really fell apart for me when Tella began to feel sorry for herself and wondered if she even wanted what she’d originally been seeking.

The writing was so beautiful at first (with a few hiccups in comparisons that left me befuddled,) but as the story went on, it feel like the writing was a substitute for plot, and I could not longer enjoy it. Dante intrigued me from the last book, and the beginning of this book made him even more alluring (and perhaps the best part of this story,) and I loved Jacks at first, too, until he and his apple were mentioned for the millionth time. Even though it was explained, it was still overkill, and was so redundant that it became jarring every time it happened. Also, the direction of Scarlett and Julian’s relationship in this book ruined Caraval for me, and I can’t help but think that if I read it now knowing what’s in store, I wouldn’t enjoy it the second time around. Lastly, the ending was so anticlimactic in that not much happened, and that what did happen was so predictable. None of what I imagine were supposed to be ‘big’ reveals had any payoff, and I was left incredibly disappointed. But this book still gets 2.5 stars because like I said, the writing (at least at first,) was gorgeous, and I am still hooked enough to want to read Finale. Even if just to find out what happens to Scarlett and Julian. If you read Caraval and were on the fence about continuing this series, I’d be cautious about picking this one up. In the end, Legendary felt sloppy, unfinished, long, and it lacked direction. All of the ‘events’ in this book could have taken place in a quarter of its length, making me feel like I wasted my time.

| Rating |

Series | Caraval


26 thoughts on “Review | Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Add yours

  1. Thank you for your honest review! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who felt this way about Legendary! I was pretty disappointed. I totally agree that Tella was not the character I thought she would be – so boy-crazy! That’s my issue a lot with YA fantasy, that it just becomes a romance with some magical elements at the expense of plot and world-building.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – plot and world-building were non-existent in this one. Descriptions were beautiful, but nothing felt new. I still have to read Finale, though; I can’t give up yet. Hopefully the bookends of this trilogy will be enough to carry it!


  2. I’m sorry you didn’t fall in love with Tella’s character in this installment. The world and writing still sound gorgeous though. I still have this series to pickup—hopefully, the next release will be a better read for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was so disappointed in Tella’s character! I am really hoping that when the last book rolls around, it will somehow prove this installment was necessary and included some moments that led up to FInale.

      Thank you! 🙂


  3. Oh no! But you are not the first one pointing these and being disappointed. I guess it really is a challenge to keep up the quality!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry to hear this wasn’t a better read for you. I was actually the opposite and really preferred this one over Caraval. I definitely see where you’re coming from with Tella though. That was probably my least favorite aspect of this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh no, sorry to hear this was disappointing! That’s always tough especially when a book is highly anticipated. I’ve seen a few similar reviews though so I don’t think you’re alone in your feelings on this one? I’ve been curious about these but have been waiting… maybe I’ll wait a little longer. Still, glad to hear the writing at least was good.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some disappointments really hit harder than others, and this one hit hard for me. I am hoping the last book will end things on a high note, though. I definitely think it’s worth waiting to see if the series is worth it. That way if you determine it’s not, maybe you can at least read the first and stop there.


  6. Sorry that this one was a dissapointment for you. That is even worse when it happens to be a book you were really looking forward to reading. I have noticed that reviews for this one have been pretty mixed. I have Caraval on my bookshelf waiting to be read but I am not sure if I want to go beyond that one.

    Liked by 1 person

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