Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Source: Bought (also received an early copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
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 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.
If you know me, you’ll know that I absolutely love the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber and that it is actually one of my favourite series in the entire world. Because of that, Finale was one of my top three most anticipated reads of 2019 and I had high expectations going into it. It’s always a little scary going into a book that you have high expectations for because of the worry that it won’t live up to the hype or it won’t live up to the ideas you have in your headd but I was left feeling happy with the way that this series concluded.
Like both Caraval and Legendary, Finale was full of magic. I was expecting this book to feature a game that was more risky than the last and to be full of more adventure. I was not disappointed and it definitely met the expectations I had for it. It featured all the magic and adventure that I’ve loved ever since I first read Caraval back in 2017 and I just loved being back in this world with all the characters I’ve come to know and love.
Without spoiling too much, Finale is set in the same place as in Legendary and features much of the same characters from the previous book. It follows on from the events of Legendary fairly closely afterwards and of course, features another one of the famous games of Caraval. Although, as already mentioned, the stakes are higher in this book and the magic more prominent than ever before.
Unlike the previous two books, this book features two points of view, both of which we have read from already, those being Scarlett and Tella. I quite liked being able to go between the two and was happy that Stephanie had made the decision with this book to actually write it from both PoVs as opposed to just the one. I liked following both of the sisters as I think that in this book, they both have fairly unique PoVs. As well as seeing both Scarlett and Tella in this book, we also see a few other characters that are heavily featured in the previous two books which re both important to both Scarlett and Tella’s storylines.
The writing in this one was much the same as the previous two books. It was fast paced, magical and had me wanting to read and turn every page as fast as I could. I was completely engrossed in the story as the writing has a certain way of just pulling me into the story. I felt that the writing was quite descriptive, meaning that I was able to imagine things quite clearly in my mind – something that the map at the front of each book is also quite helpful in aiding. The writing definitely helps to make the plot more fast paced as it pulls you forwards through the story.
I really enjoyed the plot of this book. It felt a little different to the plot of the previous two books as it felt like there were more twists and turns and that there was also more complications to deal with and resolve throughout this book, however that kept it interesting. I felt quite invested in the story but also in characters as I already knew them. It was quite comforting to step into a world with characters that I already familiar with. Stephanie makes it she easy to just fall into the plots of her books.
This book does deal with quite a few differing themes including love, family, friendship, forgiveness and healing. All of these are explored in some detail throughout this book, particularly love and family.
Finale was such a good book and I’m so glad that my expectations of it were met. I thought that Finale was a great conclusion to this magical series. Although I definitely felt like I was left wanting more, I did also feel quite satisfied by this book. Although we won’t be getting any more books in this series, I’m looking forward to reading whatever Stephanie brings out next. If you’re looking for a magical and fast paced read, I’d absolutely recommend checking this out. If you need anymore encouragement, you can read my post on 5 reasons to read the Caraval series here.
Remember, it’s only a game…