And Now, For the Grand Finale (Finale – A Book Review)

Finale (Caraval #3)

Author: Stephanie Garber

Published: 2019

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated G for grand finale of gratuitous grandeur and glamourous yet gripping romance and sisterhood.

A love worth fighting for.

A dream worth dying for.

An ending worth waiting for.

Two months ago, the Caraval concluded. Scarlett whips up a game between Julian and former fiancé, Count Nicolas D’Arcy. Elsewhere, Tella is focused on waking their mother though her dreams are filled with Legend and his teasing her with forever. For Tella, she believes that their mother is the true heir to the throne of the empire and she plans to prove it.

But now, a new amore deadly game is about to begin. The cards of Fate have been released. Secrets will be uncovered. Everybody will be tested to see how far they’ll go for the ones they love. Not everybody will make it to the end.

Caraval Reviews



My head is still spinning! Just wow! Disappointed? NO WAY! So many questions zipped around my mind even before I started this. I literally had to let out a decent squeeee before opening it. I also needed to fondle this gorgeous one-of-a-kind cover. I got this version from eBay as a little birthday present to myself and it was totally worth it. I’m never letting it go.

It seemed possible that Scarlett and Tella would be able to start new lives after Caraval and after being free of their horrible father. New forces came into play and their future hung in the balance of a new game that could very well take their lives. For love and for each other, Scarlett and Tella gave their all in a fight where the odds were against them.


As the title suggests, this was the finale. And, like typical finales, it was huge and filled with splendorous twists that seemed so impulsive, and it all worked. I let this finale carry me home with its spellbinding adventure and head-spinning romance. It’s wonderful when a book can do that for me. For some, this trope of the damsel damseling and also deciding to be the hero on top of a whirlwind adventure of true love is ridiculous but, Garber made it so much more. Sure, this kind of girl seems to be too much, but not these girls. And in many cases, when the writing is this colorful and rich you just got to ride it.

Scarlett and Tella’s growth throughout the trilogy has been incredible. A strong sibling bond, especially one that builds up over the course of time and helps develop independence always gets me. Both of them over the course of the last two books found each other and themselves and then put that forth in this final installment.

We Heart It

Speaking of villains, my theory on villains is that they do bad things and more often than not for their own selfish reasons, they don’t typically take on a world-ending, murder-spree, psychopath tendency. To kill, isn’t a first instinct. They just have a strong disregard for anybody and everybody. I make this mention because Legend is a top-tier villain. I also believe that villains are capable of a redemption arc. However, I think that villainy and evil get mixed up and can make up a toxic character that readers aren’t supposed to fall in love with. I really needed to get that out and Legend seemed like the right character to make a point with. Though so many of his decisions are deceitful and selfish, his intention is never to harm or kill. He just wants magic.

With that, came a great turmoil for Legend. His struggle to choose between love and magic wasn’t easy. Tella struggled with the same choices after he offered to make her immortal forever. If she became immortal, she’d never be able to love. What kind of choice is that!? Both are their own kind of magic, unique and overwhelmingly powerful. This was one of the biggest parts of the book and really pulled me like tug-o-war.


And the ROMANCE! Ugh, my heart! Some of the best lines I’ve read in a long time that spoke of love were right here. Tella and Legend, though they sat on the line of are they or aren’t they, had me holding on. Neither of them took love lightly and though Legend was resistant, he understood as well as Tella that it was incredibly meaningful. Meanwhile, Scarlett may have been in the mood to play game-master, it was obvious she would choose Julian. The two are so incredibly swoon-worthy. The emotional power behind these two relationships was endearing.


While I’ve jabbered on and on, there is so much more. Garber layered multiple tropes so beautifully. I gasped, I laughed, I blushed, cried, sighed…there was a lot. There was a steady stream of surprises that left me reeling. As expected in Caraval, nothing is what you expect. Unexpected allies, villains, and reveals. While the previous books were more focused on the sisters facing trials that tested their wishes and wills, this one brought them together.

The setting took on a new style but was met with the same magnificent and magical imagery that has helped make this trilogy so astounding. Rather than enter another whimsical world of Legend’s making, everybody entered that of Scarlett’s and Tella’s. The book’s technical real world which came across as a Caribbean fantasy to me. The blend of magic brought an intriguing oxymoron to the book. The magic of Legend and the Fates created a vibrant darkness. While everything sparkled such as gemmed cages and magnificent attires, they were filled with dark intent. It was remarkable.


This series swept me off my feet so many times. Sure, the previous books seemed more adventurous and thrilling while this one felt darker and deadlier, but I loved it all the same. I’ve truly never read anything like Garber before. Her writing is resilient and she can paint a picture of what unbridled magic can not only look like but be like. That while it can be dangerous, it can be so much more than that.

If these ever become a movie franchise then they better blow my freaking mind. These books deserve nothing but the best.


“I would actually say your greatest treasure is sitting across from you. There is nothing quite so precious as the love of a sister.” (p. 3)

“No wonder they’d already started creating statues of him around the city. He might have been a liar and a villain, but he made both things look very good.” (p. 115)

“But I don’t want to feel differently. I want to feel love in its every form. I used to be so scared of it, but now I think love is another type of magic. It makes everything brighter, it makes people who have it stronger, it breaks rules that aren’t supposed to exist, it’s infinitely valuable. I can’t imagine my life without it. And if you felt any love in your heart, you would understand.” (Tella to Legend, p. 187)

“His eyes were full of stars, his bronze skin was faintly glowing, and his dark hair was a little mussed.” (p. 254)

“Being vulnerable is not as bad as some believe.” (Maiden Death, p. 266)

“Love is messy. It’s not easily controlled. But that’s what makes it so powerful. It’s unbridled passion. It’s caring about someone else’s life more than your own…” (Tella to Legend, p. 272)

“Most of my life, I’ve romanticized death. I used to love the idea of something being so tremendous that it was worth dying for. But I was wrong. I think the most magnificent things are worth living for.” (Tella to Legend, p. 350)

“You deserve someone who can love you…rather than an immortal who only wants to possess you.” (p. 366)

“I’d rather be forward than backward.” (Paradise, p. 425)

More to come soon…                                                                                               


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