Caraval Finale Book Review

Frankly, Finale wasn’t Legendary


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.


I really loved Caraval and Legendary by Stephanie Garber and had expected to put the Caraval series on my all time favourite list, until I read Finale. So it goes without saying, the third book was an immense disappointment for me.

The good stuff. I enjoyed learning more about Paloma and her relationship with the fates, but feel her character was martyred too soon in the story for readers to really connect or understand her. I also really loved getting to see more fates! The fates were the most interesting part of Legendary with their mysterious abilities and evil ways. But what could have been an interesting dive into the fates and their characters, we instead see a fairly rushed and shallow depiction of them. It almost felt like they were forgotten in the original manuscript and were sprinkled in for final drafts to retain continuity. Jacks is still one of my favourite characters so I enjoyed seeing more of him, even though SO MANY things are left unexplained about him and we never really see the extent of his full powers.

What I didn’t enjoy was that almost the entire first half of the book is about the love triangles of Tella and Scarlett, which would by fine if there was still interesting plot happening at the same time. Barely any plot happens in the whole story which felt far removed from the first two books. Everyone obviously wanted to see more of the girls’ relationships (myself included) but not THAT much. The first two books manage to have a fantastic balance of story and romance, whereas the actual story felt like an afterthought in Finale

While I still like both of the main characters, the girls kind of felt like they were (dumber?) lacking any common sense or intelligent thought in the third book. I don’t know if it was just me who noticed this, but Tella inwardly repeats an entire paragraph 11 lines after the other character had just said it. Like, while they are still in the same room… I noticed this a lot unfortunately where the book repeats things very closely as if the reader or character forgot after a couple of pages which got on my nerves to the point I skipped over a lot of their “analysing” patterns and significant information.

An annoying amount of the book describes colours and patterns of the walls in rooms and every exact detail of what each character is wearing which was completely unnecessary and did not add anything to the story or become relevant. It seems fairly obvious that this entire book was written as fan service to those who were mainly only interested in the romance side of things. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with fan service! But I was just so disappointed that Garber sold out in that way and forgot all about the people who loved this series for its unique story AND romance.

What I would have loved to see is a game with the fates. That would have been a really cool way to tie in with the games from the first two books as the big finale. But alas, the finale fell flat and forgettable for me after such wild rides in Caraval and Legendary 🤷‍♀️ if you only want the romance though this should be right up your alley!

Looking at the reviews on Goodreads a lot of people loved Finale, while some people felt the same as me. Maybe I just shouldn’t have had such high expectations for an epic finale to such a magical beginning and middle and that’s my fault. Maybe one day I’ll get a novella that elaborates on the fates and shows more of Paloma’s kickass story!

RATING – 2/5 stars

Author – Stephanie Garber
Publisher – Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN – 978 1 473 66677 1


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