Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Finale by Stephanie Carber - Review

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval...all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancĂ©, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win...and those who will lose everything. . .

-------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ---------------------

I absolutely fell in love with Caraval when it released. It was a sleeper - I mostly picked it up because the author is local to where I grew up (holla Roseville!) and it became one of my favorite books of the year. When it was announced that there would be a third book in the series, I was elated! 

Finale begins shorty after Legendary ends. Scarlett is my favorite character, so I was happy to have the book split between Tella and Scarlett's stories as each try and do everything they can to stop magic from wreaking havoc in their world. Legend and Julian are now co-stars in this story and I appreciate how each compliment Scarlett and Tella in different ways. The real winner here, though, is Stephanie's amazing writing. Lyrical and magical and mysterious, I love the way the story is told and the world is described and how Scarlett and Tella interact with the world in different ways. It may be because I've had the chance to hear Stephanie talk about her inspiration and such, but I think that the things at the heart of the series - sisterhood, family, identity, facing your fears - are evident during key moments in the story. 

The world has expanded greatly from the first book, and even the second. The lore and magic are interesting and related to the magic from the caraval that started it all but there were moments when I got a little lost. I missed the whole charade aspect from the first two books - the magic was closer to more traditional fantasies, in my opinion, than the feelings I got from the first two books, the 'is it real or all just an illusion' type. I think that the book stands well on it's own, but it's a great departure from the original story. That being said, I'm glad that Stephanie had the chance to wrap things up and finish it the way that she wanted, and the conclusion was satisfactory, if not a little predictable. 

Overall I really enjoyed Finale. It was different than I was imagining, but stands strong on it's own in the series. Tella and Scarlett's determination and fearlessness in the face of overwhelming forces propel the story forward and make for a magical, adventurous tale. 
Find out more about the author here: http://stephaniegarberauthor.com

Stephanie Garber is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Caraval, Legendary, and Finale. She grew up in Northern California, where she was often compared to Anne Shirley, Jo March, and other fictional characters with wild imaginations and stubborn streaks. You can find her on Twitter and on Instagram.

Happy Reading!