Publishers Weekly Reviews

At the start of Garber's magnificent debut novel, the mysterious Master Legend invites sisters Scarlett and Donatella Dragna to attend Caraval—a magical multiday event that is part spectacle, part treasure hunt. Although their tyrannical father has threatened death if they leave home without his permission, Tella strikes a deal with a roguish sailor named Julian for transport to Legend's private island—a plan that essentially involves kidnapping the conflicted Scarlett, who is weeks away from marrying a man she's never met. Upon arrival, Tella is taken, and it's revealed that she is the subject of this year's hunt. Scarlett and Julian join forces to find her, but in a game in which secrets are currency and appearances deceive, Scarlett has no way of knowing whether she's a Caraval player or Master Legend's pawn. Intriguing characters, an imaginative setting, and evocative writing combine to create a spellbinding tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and hope. While the search for Tella drives the narrative, Scarlett's quest for self-empowerment is equally captivating. Scarlett and Julian's chemistry intoxicates, and Garber's tantalizing conclusion will leave readers hungry for a sequel. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jenny Bent, Bent Agency. (Jan.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.