Caraval is the first book in the Caraval series by New York Times bestseller Stephanie Garber. This novel was first published in 2017.
In this article, you will find some frequently asked questions about this book. I have tried to answer them as best and honestly as possible.
I hope you enjoy reading these, and I hope this post answers some of the questions you may have about this book!
FYI, this article will contain spoilers.
How many Caraval books are there?
The Caraval series consists of 3 books. These books should be read in this order:
Besides these three books, there is also a new series by Stephanie Garber. These books play out in the same world as Caraval and continue after the ending of the last book. There are a few side characters you will recognize from the Caraval series. But in general, this is a whole new series.
The first book in this series is Once Upon a Broken Heart. The second book will be released later in 2022.
Is this book YA or NA?
Caraval is a Young Adult fantasy series. This is primarily because the main characters fall into the young adult age category. Also, the subject matter falls into the young adult book range too. Plus, there are no spicy scenes to make it a new adult book.
The Fates are demigods who ruled the world until a few centuries ago. They were banished by a witch into a deck of cards called the deck of destiny.
The Fates weren’t nice demigods, they were evil. They used their powers to play games with humans, imprisoning them, or even worse, killing them.
There are 16 Fates and 8 Fated objects. The 16 fates are either Greater or Lesser Fates.
Below is a list of all the Fates.
The Greater Fates:
- The Murdered King
- The Undead queen
- The Prince of Hearts
- The Fallen Star
- The Poisener
- The Maiden Death
- The Assassin
- Mistress Luck
The Lesser Fates:
- Jester Mad
- Priestess, Priestess
- Het Handmaidens
- The Lady Prisoner
- The Unwed Bride
- The Apothic
- The Pregnant Maid
Caraval Trigger Warnings
Below you will find a list of some of the content trigger warnings of this book. This is to make you aware of what you can expect when picking this book up. With this in mind, please take note of the next warnings:
- Abuse by parents
Is this book a romance?
Even though this series isn’t a romance per se, there are a lot of romance elements in the story. The first book has the romantic tension between Scarlett and Julian. And in the next books, there is even more romance.
Is Caraval a standalone?
No, Caraval is the first book in a trilogy.
If you read it as a standalone, you would miss out on the conclusion of the story. So I recommend reading all three books.
Is Caraval enemies to lovers?
Caraval, and really the entire series, has many enemies to lovers elements. In the first book, we follow Scarlett. She reluctantly accepts the help of Julian to get to the island where Caraval is being held.
Scarlett doesn’t trust Julian at all. She thinks he is a no-good sailor who tried to seduce her sister. But during the game of Caraval, she gets to know him better.
And even though they aren’t exactly enemies at the start of the book, they are no friends either. And they do turn into lovers.
Is this book spicy?
No, there are no spicy scenes in this book. There are hints at lusting and passion. Some kiss scenes, but no detailed sex scenes.
What does Caraval mean?
Caraval is a game of sorts. It is a festival created by Legend. It is never in the same place and happens only once a year.
The world of Caraval is full of magic because Legend himself is magic. So you never know what might happen this time.
You can only enter Caraval if you are invited. Once you enter Caraval you can decide to watch or participate in the game. The winner of the game always wins a great prize.
What year is this novel set in?
Caraval is set in an unknown time. And, of course, even if the author did provide a year, this book takes place in a fantasy world with years that have no relation to our own. That said, looking at the lifestyles, objects, and clothing it appears to take place in a time similar to the 18th or 19th century.
Where does Caraval take place?
Caraval takes place in a fictional world. It does have a lot of similarities with our world. But there are elements of magic that make it different than our own.
Deck of Destiny
the deck of destiny is a magical deck of cards that holds all the fates captured. Scarlett and Tella’s mother imprisoned all the fates in there.
Who is Jacks in Caraval?
Jacks is one of the Fates and the Prince of Hearts in the Deck of Destiny. His role in the first Caraval book is minor. But in the next books he will be very important to the story and is actually one of the main characters.
Jacks and Tella
The first Caraval book revolves around Scarlett who is trying to find Tella. We don’t get to see much of Tella at first. The real interaction between Tella and Jacks doesn’t happen until book 2, Legendary.
Important characters in Caraval
Scarlett is Donatella’s older sister. They both grew up in an abusive household. Their mother disappeared when they were little. And their father used his fists to make his point.
Scarlett has been obsessed with Caraval since she was very young. And when she and her sister receive an invitation by Legend himself, they end up in a strange world where nothing is what it seems.
Julian calls Scarlett Crimson as a term of endearment.
Donatella, or Tella as she is called, is Scarlett’s younger sister.
Tella feels the need to escape from her home. And for many years she has written to Legend in hopes of getting an invite for Caraval.
Only, when it finally does arrive, she has to play the game along with Legend and his performers without even meeting him.
Tella isn’t around much in the first book. But still, she is one of the most important characters in the book.
Julian pretends to be a sailor who knows where to find Caraval. He helps Scarlett find Tella. But while Scarlett thinks it is out of kindness, in reality, he is one of the performers.
However, he falls in love with Scarlett and decides to keep helping her.
Rosa is Julian’s and Dante’s sister. She died in what the reader initially thinks is a tragic accident. Later you find out she was driven to commit suicide. For this reason, Julian wants to get revenge for her death.
Jovan is a performer in Caraval. She is also known as Jo.
She is kind to Scarlett and Tella, but also full of mysteries. Jo likes riddles and playing games with the people around her.
Every player that arrives at Caraval is greeted by Jo. She gives them riddles and small clues to help with the game.
Gavriel is the Fate known as the Fallen star. He is the reason why Scarlett and Tella’s mother created the Deck of Destiny and put the Fates in there.
Gavriel isn’t really discussed in the first Caraval book. However, we will find out more about him in the last book.
At first, it appears that Dante is a player of the game just like Scarlett. But she finds out that he isn’t actually a player at all but a performer.
Dante and Julian seem to know each other very well. And it turns out, they are actually brothers. Eventually, we see a lot more of Dante, but only in the next books.
Valenda is the capital city of the Meridian Empire. It was home to the Fates, and there are still multiple temples around town that worship one or more Fates.
In the second book of the Caraval series, Valenda will host Caraval. It is not mentioned in the first book.
Does Caraval contain LGBTQ+ people or relationships?
No, there are no real or big LBGT elements to the story.
The first time we meet Julian, he is kissing Tella. They both claim it didn’t mean anything.
Then the 3 of them arrive at the island, and soon Julian becomes a love interest for Scarlett. They both try to deny it, but it is obvious they like each other. For Tella, there aren’t any real love interests yet. Almost everything she does is set up for Caraval. But in the second book of the series, she has not one but two love interests.
At the start of the book, we find a map of the world of Caraval. There are a lot of streets and shops on the map. But only six of them are named. These are the places and shops that are most important to the story in this book.
Julian and Scarlett
Julian and Scarlett start as a mild form of enemies. She needs him to get her to Caraval so she can find her sister. And he is playing a role in the game of Caraval.
While they get to know each other better, Scarlett starts to trust him more, and he falls in love with her.
Who does Tella end up with?
Donatella, or Tella as she is also called, is more of a side character in the first Caraval book. We don’t know much about her yet or of any love interests. Not until book three, Finale, do we find out who she will end up with.
is Julian Legend?
There are a few moments where Scarlett is afraid Julian might be Legend. And even though it isn’t totally clear yet in this book, I can inform you that Julian is not Legend.
Julian is however related to Legend.
Who is Legend?
In the first book of the Caraval series, we do not find out who Legend is. So I will not be revealing who is Legend just yet.
Who dies in Caraval?
Near the end, Scarlett and Julian come face to face with Scarlett’s father.
When Julian tries to help Scarlett, he is stabbed by her father. He dies in front of them.
Scarlett gets away from her father and eventually finds Tella. Tella makes it very clear that she won’t go back to her father and that abusive life. She would rather die. And to put action to her words, Tella jumps off the building. She lands on the ground, dead.
However, after this is over, word has spread to her father that Tella is dead. Caraval is over, and Scarlett is the winner. At this point, both Julian and Tella come back to life. Because when someone dies during Caraval, they don’t stay dead.
How does the Caraval series end?
The actual series has a happy ending. Caraval has ended, everyone is back to life. Scarlett is a bit flabbergasted by everything that happened. And she receives a letter which makes it clear that her story is not over yet.
Not all the characters have a happy ending though. For Jacks, it isn’t very happy. But he gets his chance for redemption in the new series.
Stephanie Garber weaves an interesting story through a magical and fantastical world. It’s a world where you want to live with characters you want to meet. So if you are looking for well-written and original young adult fantasy, then this series is for you.
I hope I have answered some of the questions you may have had about this book! And if you have more questions that I didn’t answer, feel free to let me know in the comments below!