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Legendary by Stephanie Garber book cover

Legendary~A Book Review by Arabella K. Federico

Legendary by Stephanie Garber Book Review

Special Note About this Legendary Book Review:

If you haven’t read Caraval, book 1 in this series, I do not recommend reading this book review. There are spoilers of Caraval in this review, which is on book 2 (Legendary) of the series! You’ve been warned, my curious fairy children!

Summary of Legendary:

To begin with, Legendary starts with Donatella Dragna having survived Caraval, thanks to the pure love of her sister, Scarlett. The two of them are sitting pretty. Caraval has been won by Scarlett and Tella is alive and well. They’re both free of their cruel father’s abuse and the fear that came with him. Scarlett no longer has to marry a man she was never in love with and has one she truly does love.

 So why is Tella so nervous?

 She’s keeping a secret from her sister, one that could get her killed. Scarlett hates being lied to, but she’ll forgive her sister for lying this time, because that lie was the one thing that actually made the difference in getting their father to let them both go. And now that debt must repaid. Furthermore, not even a drunken night of celebratory drinking and kissing can keep Tella’s partner in crime from coming to collect, and what is he due exactly? The mysterious stranger who helped Tella manipulate her father into letting his daughters go wants only one  thing; the true name of Legend himself. The only way for Tella to discover Legend’s true identity is to play Caraval once again, but this time she isn’t the damsel in distress needing saving. No, this time, she’s the one playing; and there’s more than just her life at stake

Overview of Legendary:

 Certainly, if you read my book review on Caraval, you’ll also know that I absolutely adored it like my first born child. Similarly, I liked Legendary even better than Caraval. In Caraval, despite the book being in Third-Person Omniscient, it was from Scarlett’s perspective. So in Legendary, it switches to Tella’s, something I wasn’t expecting. Honestly, I wasn’t much of a Tella fan in Caraval because she seemed very out of touch with reality a little bit. Only concerned with herself and what she wanted to do, and perhaps a little naive to reality. It was almost like she just did whatever the heck she wanted to do, when she wanted, and if anything were to happen because of that, her sister Scarlett would clean it up for her. Hence, when I discovered the perspective had switched, I was surprised and a little hesitant.

I was like, “Oh God, how can I get through this book with a character like that?” 

But, I was pleasantly surprised by Tella and will admit here and now that I totally underestimated her. Likewise, reading both books from both sister’s POVs, I think I like Tella better. She’s more ballsy than Scarlett, not afraid to go after what she wants. They’re both great characters. Most noteworthy, the book took a totally new turn, dug deeper into that mystery of Legend, and also brought a lot of new elements to the story that I loved. It’s really hard for sequels to live up to their previous counterparts, but this one in my opinion, surpassed Caraval

Legendary Book Review by Stephanie Garber. Tella's mom's special opal ring


  • There really wasn’t too much of Scarlett in this one. I wish there was a little more of her and her relationship with Julian and to see how that progressed further, especially because it was such a new relationship. 
  • I would have liked to see more of a character arc and growth in Tella. That being said, I like the fact that she just kinda is who she is and that’s just who she’s always going to be. But unlike her sister’s major transformation in Caraval, Tella doesn’t really get that type of change. She surely experiences a lot, and finds a lot out about herself, but I feel like she isn’t completely transformed. Almost dying at the end of Caraval did sorta of mess her up.
  • It ended.
Donatella Dragna in Legendary by Stephanie Garber


  • Dante! Dante, Dante! Total disclosure here-totally my type! Eehemm…continuing on, just YAAS! The love triangle I’ve been waiting for! There was much more romance in this one, which is funny because Tella isn’t a girl who even wants to find love, but that’s just too bad for her.
  • Unlike Scarlett’s motivation in Caraval, Tell’s motivation is a double whammy. She’s just got a lot more going on in this book than Scarlett did in Caraval. On one hand her motivations are very selfless and pure, and on the other she’s protecting the lies she’s told. 

The Stakes Have Been Raised, Ya’ll!!

  • Firstly, it’s not purely personal stakes of most of the cast, the world has something to lose. That’s always making a story much hairier.
  • Just the originality of the Deck of Destiny and Legend has me smitten like a kitten my friends. The mystery involved here is a lushes garden of bloody roses dripping with deception and sacrifice and sick, sick self-interests. 
  • Again, just like Caraval the world is set up fantastically. It’s very similar to the first but because the location is different there is new areas to describe and characters depicted that are rich in detail and originality. 
  • Almost throughout the entire novel is heavy conflict between characters. Tella is torn between everyone, including her own desires. 
  • Finally, we discover Legend’s true identity. I won’t tell you who Legend is, but we find out.

Quotes From Legendary:

  “Tella often imagined she knew what people thought when they saw her. One look at her honey-blond curls, her girlish smile, and her pretty dresses, coupled with the fact that she liked to enjoy herself. and people dismissed her as a silly girl. Tella might have been many things, but she as far from silly or worthless or whatever labels people liked to affix because a person was young and female. Tella liked to think that was where much of her strength came from.” ~Stephanie Garber~ Legendary


Who do you think Legend really is?


   “So,” She said cautiously, “is all this your way of telling me you’re the villain?”

    His chuckle was dark. “I’m definitely not the hero.”

    “I already knew that,” Tella said. “It’s my story, so clearly I’m the hero.”   ~Stephanie Garber~ Legendary


Wanna Read my Book Review for Caraval?

Caraval-book 1 in the series-is the beginning of Scarlette's and Tella's magical journey at Caraval. See how it all starts in my book review of Caraval!

Arabella’s Final Thoughts:

 If Garber’s third installment of this series is even better than this one I really don’t know what I’m going to do! I had to really think about “Cons” and event the ones I came up with aren’t even bad ones. Telling a good story isn’t easy, writing books isn’t something you just wake up and do. You either have it in this industry, or you don’t; and ya girl Stephanie has it. I seriously cannot wait for the third book, Finale, to come out. Be assured I will bless you all with a review of it as soon as I can. I have high hopes.

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