Books to Read After “Caraval”

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve just finished the thrilling journey of ‘Caraval’ by Stephanie Garber. You’ve lived through the magic, mystery, and emotional rollercoaster that came with Scarlett’s quest in an enthralling carnival that blurred the lines between fantasy and reality. Now that the ride is over, you’re left with that all-too-familiar book hangover and the burning question: what do I read next?

In the quest for more enchanting worlds, intricate plots, and compelling characters, we’ve curated a list of books that will make you relive the unique allure of ‘Caraval’. From magical circuses to realms filled with deception, these books promise to offer a similar blend of fantasy, romance, and mystery that made ‘Caraval’ an unforgettable read.

Ready to dive in? Let’s explore.

Features of ‘Caraval’ That Make It Unique

Before we dive into the list of recommended reads, let’s take a moment to unpack the features that make ‘Caraval’ a standout read. Understanding these elements will not only deepen your appreciation for Stephanie Garber’s masterful storytelling but also help identify the characteristics that you may be seeking in your next book.

Magical Realism in ‘Caraval’

In ‘Caraval’, magic is not just a component of the world – it is the world. The tale revolves around a mysterious and enchanting game where the line between reality and illusion is thin and constantly shifting. This sense of magical realism extends beyond mere spectacle; it directly influences the characters’ actions, decisions, and perceptions. The immersive world-building where magic and reality coexist will leave readers longing for similar narratives.

Romantic and Mystery Elements

Woven throughout ‘Caraval’ is a rich tapestry of romance and mystery. Scarlett’s romantic entanglement with the enigmatic Julian adds an extra layer of tension and excitement to the narrative. Meanwhile, the mystery of Legend, the mastermind behind Caraval, and the true nature of the game itself, keeps readers on their toes. The blend of romance and mystery ensures a captivating reading experience, filled with suspense and emotion.

Sibling Relationships in the Book

At the heart of ‘Caraval’ is the relationship between Scarlett and her younger sister, Tella. Their bond forms the emotional core of the story, driving the narrative and character motivations. Despite the fantastical setting, their sibling dynamic – marked by love, protectiveness, and occasional disagreement – feels authentic and relatable. If sibling relationships resonate with you, you might enjoy books that highlight this element.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

First on our list is a novel that is often compared with ‘Caraval’ due to its magical carnival setting. ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern is a spellbinding tale that will captivate fans of Garber’s novel.

Overview of ‘The Night Circus’

‘The Night Circus’ is a phantasmagorical journey through a circus that arrives without warning, only opening at night and captivating towns with its enchanting exhibits. But beneath its surface, the circus is the venue for a fierce competition between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood for this purpose.

Comparison and Contrast to ‘Caraval’

Similar to ‘Caraval’, ‘The Night Circus’ is a world where magic and illusion blur the lines of reality. Both novels create immersive atmospheres with detailed and evocative descriptions that bring their unique settings to life. However, while ‘Caraval’ leans more towards a plot-driven narrative, ‘The Night Circus’ emphasizes its world-building and character development, providing a more languid pace that revels in its own intricate details.

Why Fans of ‘Caraval’ Might Enjoy This Book

If you enjoyed the magic, mystery, and spectacle of Caraval, you’ll find similar themes in ‘The Night Circus’. Not only does it offer an immersive magical world, but it also contains a plot centered around a mysterious game with high stakes. Plus, the slow-burn romance between Celia and Marco mirrors the romantic tension in ‘Caraval’, making it an excellent follow-up read.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Another exceptional read for fans of ‘Caraval’ is ‘The Cruel Prince’ by Holly Black. This is the first book in a trilogy that weaves a story of deception, power, and unlikely alliances in a world of faerie intrigue.

Synopsis of ‘The Cruel Prince’

In ‘The Cruel Prince’, we follow the story of mortal girl Jude, who was dragged to the treacherous world of Faerie when she was just a child. Despite the constant danger, Jude yearns to belong in this beautiful, immortal realm. But to win a place at the Court, she must defy the wicked prince Cardan, and navigate her way through deceit and power struggles.

Examination of Similar Themes to ‘Caraval’

Just as ‘Caraval’ does, ‘The Cruel Prince’ incorporates elements of magic, romance, and mystery into its narrative. The world of Faerie, much like the game of Caraval, is filled with enchanting and dangerous magic. Meanwhile, the evolving relationship between Jude and Cardan introduces a romantic tension that keeps readers hooked. Furthermore, the storyline is shrouded in intrigue, with twists and turns that maintain an air of suspense.

Discussion on Why ‘Caraval’ Fans Would Appreciate this Book

If you loved the sense of danger and the high-stakes game in ‘Caraval’, ‘The Cruel Prince’ should be next on your reading list. Its unpredictable plot and morally ambiguous characters offer a similar level of excitement and complexity. Moreover, the romance, which is as tumultuous as it is compelling, will likely resonate with fans of Scarlett and Julian’s dynamic in ‘Caraval’.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

For readers seeking a character-driven narrative, coupled with a magical and dangerous world, ‘Six of Crows’ by Leigh Bardugo is a must-read.

Introduction to ‘Six of Crows’

‘Six of Crows’ is set in a bustling hub of criminal activity known as Ketterdam. The story revolves around six outcasts, each with their own unique skills and personal demons. They come together to pull off an impossible heist, facing insurmountable odds and life-threatening dangers along the way.

Comparison of Character Dynamics and World-Building with ‘Caraval’

While ‘Caraval’ and ‘Six of Crows’ differ in many ways, they share certain key features. Both books possess strong, character-driven narratives with intricate relationships and backstories. The ensemble cast of ‘Six of Crows’ has a dynamic similar to Scarlett, Julian, and their companions, with each character adding a unique flavor to the group’s interactions. The world-building in both books is also noteworthy. Bardugo’s Ketterdam, like Garber’s Caraval, is a complex and magical environment that pulls readers into the story.

Reasons Why it Would be a Good Fit for ‘Caraval’ Readers

‘Six of Crows’ is an ideal choice for ‘Caraval’ readers because of its well-developed characters, thrilling plot, and rich world-building. It offers a blend of magic, mystery, and character-driven narrative that would appeal to anyone who enjoyed the enchanting yet dangerous world of ‘Caraval’. Furthermore, while the romantic relationships develop differently, they are just as enthralling, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the story.

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

‘Daughter of the Burning City’ is a unique tale that merges fantasy with elements of mystery and romance, making it an excellent recommendation for fans of ‘Caraval’.

Description of ‘Daughter of the Burning City’

‘Daughter of the Burning City’ transports readers to Gomorrah, a traveling city of debauchery that floats around the continent. The protagonist, Sorina, is an illusion-worker in the Gomorrah Festival Freak Show. However, her life takes a shocking turn when one of her illusions is mysteriously murdered.

How Its Magical Realism Relates to That in ‘Caraval’

Similar to ‘Caraval’, ‘Daughter of the Burning City’ features a richly imagined setting that is central to the narrative. The city of Gomorrah, much like the game of Caraval, is rife with magical elements that defy reality. Both books utilize magical realism to create immersive, captivating atmospheres that engage readers from start to finish.

Explanation of Why ‘Caraval’ Fans Might Find This Book Intriguing

If you were enchanted by the magical and mysterious world of ‘Caraval’, ‘Daughter of the Burning City’ will likely pique your interest. Its unique premise, a carnival-like setting, and a mystery at the heart of the narrative bear striking similarities to the themes found in ‘Caraval’. The underlying element of romance also mirrors the love story thread in ‘Caraval’, making it a compelling choice for fans of Stephanie Garber’s novel.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

V.E. Schwab’s ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ is an enchanting tale that delves into parallel Londons, magic, and compelling characters. It’s a fantastic choice for ‘Caraval’ fans.

Quick Look at ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’

‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ introduces us to Kell, a magician with the rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. In this multiverse, each London has a different relationship with magic: Red London thrives with magic, Grey London has none, White London’s magic is fought over, and Black London… well, no one dares to speak about Black London. Kell’s adventures kick off when he smuggles a forbidden artifact from one London to another, setting in motion a series of dangerous events.

Similarities and Differences Compared to ‘Caraval’

Both ‘Caraval’ and ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ offer complex magical systems and worlds that readers can immerse themselves in. The multiverse in Schwab’s book mirrors the layered mysteries of the game of Caraval, and both books include a dangerous and high-stakes adventure as the central plot. However, Schwab’s novel places a stronger emphasis on its unique magic system and less on romantic elements, setting it apart from ‘Caraval’.

Why Readers of ‘Caraval’ Would Enjoy This Book

‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ offers a captivating journey through a multiverse filled with magic, parallel worlds, and intrigue. If you enjoyed the magical realm and adventurous plot of ‘Caraval’, Schwab’s novel will likely meet your expectations. Its complex characters, dangerous quests, and rich world-building make it a must-read for any ‘Caraval’ fan.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Last but not least in our reading suggestions is ‘Strange the Dreamer’ by Laini Taylor. This beautifully written tale of magic, dreams, and lost cities is sure to captivate fans of ‘Caraval’.

An Overview of ‘Strange the Dreamer’

‘Strange the Dreamer’ tells the story of Lazlo Strange, an orphan and librarian with an extensive knowledge of and fascination for the mythical lost city of Weep. After years of dreaming about Weep, Lazlo is offered the opportunity of a lifetime to join an expedition to the very city that occupies his dreams.

Comparing Key Themes with ‘Caraval’

‘Strange the Dreamer’ and ‘Caraval’ share a sense of wonder and mystery. Both narratives are steeped in dream-like worlds, where things aren’t always as they seem. The lost city of Weep, like the game of Caraval, is an enigma that captivates readers, drawing them deeper into the story. Moreover, both books feature a protagonist who embarks on a life-changing journey in a world filled with magic.

Why This Book Appeals to ‘Caraval’ Readers

If the magic, mystery, and adventure of ‘Caraval’ left you wanting more, ‘Strange the Dreamer’ might just be the perfect fit. The book’s lyrical prose, imaginative world-building, and intriguing plot bear similarities to the themes in ‘Caraval’. Additionally, Lazlo’s journey, much like Scarlett’s, is driven by love, dreams, and the desire to discover the truth behind a great enigma.

Additional Recommendations

The world of fantasy and magical realism is vast and varied. Here are ten more titles that might appeal to fans of ‘Caraval’, each offering a unique spin on the themes that made Stephanie Garber’s novel so captivating.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

A young man discovers a mysterious book filled with tales of key collectors, acolytes, and a silent siren. This book leads him to a secret and ancient underground library filled with doors that lead to fantastic places. Recommended for its beautiful prose and magical storytelling that echoes ‘Caraval’s’ allure.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

A tale of a young woman who discovers she has a power that could save her war-torn world. With well-drawn characters and a gripping plot, it will appeal to ‘Caraval’ readers due to its immersive world-building and magical elements.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

This is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series, featuring a hidden world of angels, demons, and supernatural creatures that lurk in the shadows of New York City. Its complex characters and plot twists make it a great choice for ‘Caraval’ fans.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

In a brutal world inspired by ancient Rome, a slave fights for her family and a soldier fights for his freedom. Its gripping storyline and well-developed, relatable characters make it a compelling read for fans of ‘Caraval’.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

A Victorian-era tale of a young woman defying societal norms to study forensic medicine. When she gets embroiled in the hunt for Jack the Ripper, the game of cat and mouse begins. Its blend of suspense, romance, and strong female protagonist make it a worthy recommendation.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

In this dystopian fairy tale, 35 girls compete for a chance to live in a palace and win the heart of a prince. Its romantic tension, suspense, and fairy-tale-like atmosphere should resonate with ‘Caraval’ readers.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

A Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, where two rival gang heirs must work together to stop a monster threatening their city. Its romantic subplot, atmospheric setting, and magical elements make it a strong choice for ‘Caraval’ fans.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Set in a dark and glamorous Paris, a group of misfits join together to find an ancient artifact. Its intricate plot, complex characters, and lavish setting should appeal to fans of ‘Caraval’.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

A story about a young woman who must protect her kingdom from dangerous magical grimoires that can transform into monsters. Recommended for its magical elements, strong heroine, and romantic subplot that ‘Caraval’ fans may appreciate.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

A retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, where a brave young woman tells stories to the caliph every night to stay alive. Its atmospheric setting, suspenseful plot, and enchanting romance should engage readers who loved ‘Caraval’.

Conclusion: More Magical Worlds Await

There’s something captivating about losing oneself in the pages of a magical, evocative novel like ‘Caraval’. The books we’ve explored in this guide offer similar journeys, each with its own unique twist on magic, mystery, and romance.

An Invitation to Explore New Realms

These recommendations are a great starting point for your post-‘Caraval’ reading, but remember: there are countless magical worlds waiting for you to dive into. Each book mentioned here carries its own distinct sense of wonder and fascination that will satiate your craving for more stories like ‘Caraval’.

Final Encouragement to Continue the Journey

Reading ‘Caraval’ might have been a captivating experience, but it’s only the beginning. Whether it’s the magical circus of ‘The Night Circus’, the criminal underbelly of ‘Six of Crows’, the treacherous court of ‘The Cruel Prince’, the burning illusions of ‘Daughter of the Burning City’, the parallel Londons of ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’, or the lost city of ‘Strange the Dreamer’, each of these narratives is ready to sweep you off your feet.

So, why wait? Pick up one of these books and let your next magical adventure begin!

rj adams books

R.J. Adams

My first job was at Barnes & Noble, so books and reading have been a big part of my life for as long as I could remember. My Kindle is jam-packed with books I likely will never get around to reading and my To Be Read pile is even longer!

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