What is the book about?
Two sisters, Scarlett and Donatella, try to navigate love and magic, as well as save the wondrous city of Valenda from the Fates.
How many stars would you give this book?
What did you love (or hate) about this book?
*This review contains spoilers*
I screamed at Tella and Scarlett, but mostly Tella, countless times throughout the book. Their choices made sense, and yet they didn’t, in the most frustrating of paradoxes. Garber’s detailed characterization and meticulous use of imagery helped make the characters and story come to life.
I read this book in less than a day, which I owe to Garber’s fabulous storytelling. I wanted to finish the book the second I started it, but in a good way. Yes, I wanted to follow Scarlett and Tella every step of the way in the story, but I also so desperately wanted them to have a happy ending and find out what happened. Throughout the series, I have watched Garber’s voice evolve, which was truly an exciting experience.
Garber touches on a lot of themes throughout the series, but I think the biggest one is the theme of love. There are many different types of love in the series – sister to sister, mother to daughter, lover to lover – but the way the characters deal with this feeling and experience is unique to each one. Love is defined differently as the characters discover what it is, and as I followed the characters, I discovered that each one experiences and gives love in different ways.
The imagery used in this book is fantastic. I could see every color with intense clarity, as well as connect with the characters’ feelings on a deeper level.
However, some parts of the ending caused me to be a little unsatisfied. First of all, I’m still heartbroken over the Prince of Hearts and his ending. I feel like he wasn’t given a chance and cast as a villain instead, when perhaps he could have become deserving of Tella’s love. She is his true love, after all. I do understand, though, the difference between Tella’s feelings for Legend and Jacks, the Prince of Hearts.
Also, I feel like Legend is a little ruthless for Tella. I may be part of the very small minority who think Tella should have ended up with Jacks. Yes, he is a Fate and he is better at obsessing and possessing than love, but if Legend and Gavriel were able to love, so can he. He constantly helped Tella and was always there for her. He helped her eacape her father back in Caraval when not even Legend would write her at first, then he helped her find her mother in Legendary, and lastly, he helped her heal and find the Ruscico in Finale. Not to mention, she was his true love! (I’m not trying to be redundant, just make a point.) In addition, Legend rejected her many times. Although he was always drawn back to her and wanted her, so did Jacks. Legend always enchanted Tella and might have been the more exciting choice, but all I can think of is Jacks’ sad blue eyes. Legend was still incredibly selfish by taking all of the witch’s powers and constantly lying and tricking people to get his way. The most heartbreaking thing about Legend is that he didn’t even love his own brother enough to give up his immortality. I respect that Tella was the catalyst for this to happen, but I also feel like she could have gotten over him, for his choices were, frankly, childish. On the other hand, with the way Garber wrote the characters’ interactions with one another, when Tella is with Legend it just feels right. But perhaps what Tella wants isn’t always what she needs.
Lastly, I still have some questions left over, like:
What happened to the statues in the Stone Garden?
How will Scarlett transform Valenda?
What will Tella’s next adventure be? (I’m still a little peeved she wants to leave her sister and have another adventure right after they survived all of those life-threatening situations.)
What is Legend’s true name?
In all, this series expanded my imagination to new horizons. I hope that Garber will write more books! Her style is beautiful and the world she has created is magnificent.
Who might like this book?
Dreamers, teens/young adults, anyone who wants a unique reading experience
*I would recommend reading Caraval and Legendary (also by Stephanie Garber) before Finale because it is the last in the trilogy
Lea, 15, South Hill