Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.
The Order - the mysterious group her mother was once part of - is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

Summary from Goodreads

The Sweet Far Thing was a good conclusion to the Great and Terrible Beauty series. Libba Bray wrapped up the story nicely. Her writing style was beautiful and the detail she put into her research of this time period is evident. The descriptions made you feel like you were there.

I did have a few complaints though. Sometimes, the careless Gemma and the others used the magic really bothered me. Gemma would get flashes of how important it was to use the magic wisely, but then let her friends convince her of keeping it for their own, selfish use. It got repetitive after awhile and almost made me put down the book.

I'm glad I stuck with it though because Gemma's character really redeemed herself in the end. She came into who she was, and not just as a carrier of the magic of the realms but as a woman. She did the right thing, for herself and for the others.

The ending made this book a four star read for me. It was exciting, full of action, and heartbreaking. Yet it left you feeling hopeful.

And can I mention how much I love Kartick? His character was so well done. You could see how torn he was between what he wanted and what he thought was right. He was a great love interest.

I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a strong female main character. Though Gemma didn't always make the right decisions, she learned to accept herself and want she wanted and didn't make excuses for either. It was a great series I really enjoyed.


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