4 star, YA

Review: Finale by Stephanie Garber

Caraval #3

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

Finally we’ve made it to the end of this trilogy! In this exciting last installment, the confining boundaries of Caraval are left behind, and we are left to journey with the Dragna sisters as they work to battle the immortal Fates. What final secrets will be revealed and how will it all end? It all happens here! Both Andge and I agree the rating is about 4-4.5 for this book, and I will provide the detailed explanations below, as usual.

Finale is book 3 of the Caraval trilogy and follows both the POVs of Scarlett (book 1) and Donatella (book 2) as now they wander the capital city of Valenda as Legend is close to ascending the throne and now that the notorious immortal Fates have been released from their prison in the Deck of Destiny. Each sister tries to find her own way of battling the Fates (and their own fates!) as they delve deeper into magic than ever. As always magic always comes with a price, and will it be too high for the Dragna sisters to pay? What are they willing to give up to save their world?

As much as I love the first two books and experiencing Caraval twice, I’m glad this last book wasn’t Caraval #3, or that might have just been too much. Instead it was the battle of magic in the real world of Scarlett and Tella. Delving further into this fantastical world (and more of the background of Legend) was actually very satisfying for me, as his world of magic and the history between him and the Fates is really the crux of Caraval (after the games itself, of course!)

The characters as usual were extremely lovable, and you can’t help but root for our two protagonists as we go through the journey with them. It was also interesting to meet a lot of the immortal Fates as they appeared, matching up to their notoriety. Although perhaps slightly predictable, it was nice to see the growth of the characters from book 1 to 3 (though not that much time has passed) and to see how their interpersonal relationships developed.

The plot. I think I am the most torn over this component of this final book. A part of me really loved a lot of the components like meeting these magical objects/places/immortals from the Deck of Destiny, but as for the plotline itself, there were definitely a couple of elements that I felt were a bit strangely paced. I think most of the story (the build-up) was quite good, and the whole adventure element was well executed. For me, the most egregious element was the resolution of the climax – seemed almost too easy, or at least too quick in how it all ended. That being said, there is so much information and nuance being crammed into this last novel to explain everything, so I kind of understand as well.

Overall though, I still found it to be an exciting finish to the end of this Caraval series. And in all honesty, I’m so sad to leave it behind. It’s such a cool world that I would want to be a part of, although maybe not with the immortal Fates crawling around. I highly recommend this whole series to anyone who enjoys fantasy mixed in with a little bit of suspense and adventure!

Overall Recommendations

Finale is the final book in the Caraval trilogy. Our two main sister protagonists, Scarlett and Donatella, embark on their final journey in Valenda to take down the immortal Fates that have been released from the Deck of Destiny. Each sister, though work together, split apart and utilize their own approaches to combating these magical enemies. Each must make their choices and sacrifices to gain what they want in this magical world, where magic and power always come with a price. Full of lovable characters and intriguing suspense, this final book in the series is certainly a spectacular finish to this Caraval series. If you enjoyed the first two books, I would highly recommend this last one to finish off, as it explains and ties off many of the things that may have been left open in the previous novels.

4 thoughts on “Review: Finale by Stephanie Garber”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s