Book Review


Finale by Stephanie Garber is the last book in the Caraval trilogy, and each book has only gotten better.

If you haven’t read Caraval and Legendary, this review will include spoilers for those books, so you may want to skip this review until you have read those books.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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 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.

While Scarlett sees emotions as colors, Tella’s descriptions of her surroundings abound with scent and taste. She’s still impulsive and led by her emotions rather than logic. But she is torn between what she thought she had, and what she wants.

“Yet the name always pricked her like a thorn, reminding her how she’d fallen in love with an illusion — and how foolish it would be to completely trust him again. But she still felt compelled to go after him, to ignore the festival and all the excitement buzzing through the streets.”

Scarlett struggles with a lot in this book, including conflicting feelings about her mother, Julian disappearing on her, finding the man she was originally intended to wed, and learning a difficult truth about herself. Somewhere along the way in this series, Scarlett learned to loosen up a little and became a character that I actually enjoyed.

“… but she still couldn’t forgive her mother for leaving her and Tella with their wretched father in the first place. She could never see Paloma the same way Tella did.”

Legend plays a big role in this story, and he is one of the most unpredictable characters. After his actions in the last book, I wanted to believe that he was more than he seemed. However, he’s still up to his old ways in this book — he’s full of secrets, and I could never quite figure out exactly what he was up to.

“Legend possessed a fallen angel’s beauty that commanded attention. He was tailored suits over inked tattoos, and lies that people wanted to believe.”

Jacks is a Fate that we know of from Legendary, and he was a really interesting character. It’s clear that the Fates aren’t friendly characters, but Jacks occasionally made me think that there was more to him than I saw initially. At times, he would do things that seemed kind, although I wasn’t sure if he was doing it for the right reasons or if he was self-serving.

“She knew he was a Fate, she knew he had little to no conscience, but she’d started to believe he was trying to fight against his nature for her.”

I think that this was the best book in the trilogy, and I was really impressed with how everything came together. Besides the individual struggles, Valenda as a whole is facing an uphill battle also, because when Paloma wakes up, so will the rest of the Fates. Once they do, all hell breaks loose.

The writing was lush and beautiful, and I loved how the author describes things:

“Even in slumber, he looked vicious in his beauty. His brows formed a cruel line; his dark eyelashes looked sharp enough to prick fingers; his cheeks were so pale they’d turned an icy shade of blue; and his lips still had flecks of blood from where she had bitten him during their kiss.”

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 16

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