- Author: Stephanie Garber
- Series: Caraval Trilogy #2
- Genre: Fantasy/Romance
- No. of pages: 423
- Date read: 18.02.19 – 07.03.19
- Rating: 3 stars
- Challenge: 2019 sequels
Wow! Another great instalment. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it as much as Caraval but I think it held it’s own.
I loved how colourful and descriptive Garber’s writing is. You get tossed into this magical, vibrant world that oozes mystery and this is purely down to her writing. Her writing isn’t amazing overall, there are some lines and bits of dialogue that made me cringe as they were just so cheesy and felt out of place. But her descriptive writing of clothing, places and atmosphere was really good, she is very good at world-building. I do think Garber’s writing has come on a lot since her debut novel, Caraval, I found that I enjoyed her writing a lot more this time around.
I liked how we saw an expansion of the history of the Meridian Empire. But one major factor in the story I feel should have been mentioned in the first book. I can’t say what it is as it’s a massive spoiler but it initially threw me off when it was introduced as it felt like it was an after-thought added in later to make the series seem more epic. But once I got over that it was really enjoyable to have that dynamic and higher stakes added in.
The romance in this book initially started a bit forced. I didn’t care for it at first, I felt since Scarlett was with Julian at the end of the book Donatella must also have a love interest but it actually grew on me. The romance ended up being so enjoyable to read I looked forward to seeing more of it as the book continued. This is not normally the case for me.
One negative I would say is I don’t think the plot and the progression of the novel was structured as well as Caraval was, sadly. A lot was going on, especially with the higher stake plot element added in and it did feel a bit all over the place and I found myself at the beginning of the novel a bit confused.
The ending was incredibly satisfying! I wasn’t sure on how Garber was going to end this story but I loved it, I found myself grinning from ear to ear as I was reading it. I cannot wait to read the next book which comes out very soon!