*Spoiler free, but spoilers for Caraval and Legendary*
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 fiancé, 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. . .
My feelings about this series were muddled when I finished Legendary. I decided to wait until I finished Finale to try and really nail down what I thought. I still wanted to finish these books and I wanted to know what happened. And now that I’ve finished this book, I’m still not quite sure what my feelings are.
The first 3/4ish of this book feel like filler. It takes the same approach as Legendary did, focusing on the flashiness of the world and putting mortal danger on the backburner. It worked for Legendary; it owned what it was doing and it wasn’t trying to be anything other than what it was. With Finale, there’s this big overhanging plot. I was honestly kind of bored during some parts. After I finished the book, the first bit seems kinda “huh?” It jumps from focusing on the sister’s problems to the focusing on the problem of saving the world very fast. I just don’t think the stakes were heightened enough during the first part. There wasn’t enough tension or things happening. I kinda wish some parts were cut out completely since I felt like they didn’t as a significant amount to the overall story.
There were also some instances that felt really fast and blunt. For one of them, I was sure it would be undone somehow. It was so abrupt and it didn’t really feel like it fit with where the book was trying to go.
There were also some writing quirks that I wasn’t a fan of. It’s hard to explain, but a lot of lines felt cheesy and kind of cringey. The wording of a lot of sentences felt off.
SPOILERS FOR POVS?
Going in, I knew that Tella and Scarlett would both have POVs. I was looking forward to how both the sister’s voices would come together. I thought they would compliment each other really well. Tella had a lot more chapters than Scarlett did. A lot more. At some points, it felt like this could have been another Tella both, another part of her story. This could just come from the fact that I connect with Scarlett more and I was looking forward to having her back as a narrator! She does have a good amount of chapters though!
SPOILERS FOR POVS?
At the end of Legendary, I wasn’t fond of the Legend reveal. I was hoping for something different and I was wary of how this plotline would play out. I enjoyed where the book took his story. It could have been more developed and I could have done without the “she needs to save you” subplot, but I actually grew to like Legend when I’ve only been indifferent towards him. I actually like his character now and he seems fascinating.
The last fourthish of the book was incredible. Things really picked up and I got really interested. It took the flashiness and the pretty dresses and the overtop colors and buildings and everything else and put it into a life or death plot. It was really good.
The Fates are a lot more prominent in this book. They were all so different. Their characterization was so stark and clear. They were inhuman and terrifying, but fascinating. I’m glad they played a bigger role!
There’s also think inkling of something that is either going to be a massive loose end or something else. And I don’t think I can say much more than that without spoilers.
The ending was a little weird. I’m not quite sure how I feel about one part, but I think another one was really clever. It captures the essence of them really well and it’s brilliant.
I did enjoy this book and this series. I know I talked about the problems that I had and not a lot about what I did like, so you’re probably as confused about my feelings as I am haha. I didn’t hate the book, but the things I enjoyed can be summed up in a couple sentences, but they’re a big part of the book.
All in all, I enjoyed Finale. The magic, the relationships, the writing, Tella, Scarlett, Julian, Legend, and the world is all really well done. I’m looking forward to whatever Garber writes next!
Thank you for reading!