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Rebel angels
Book
2005
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Gr. 9-12. Once again, Gemma Doyle slips into the realm beyond her Victorian world, this time to find the fabled Temple and rebind the magic loosed in A Great and Terrible Beauty0 (2003). To accomplish her task, she journeys to London, where she sifts through terrifying visions and clues from a young madwoman, weeds out friend from foe, and defends herself and her friends from those, including the clever, evil Circe, who want the magic for themselves. Bray reprises previous events as the story moves along, but readers familiar with the first book will feel most at home here. They will find the same rich social commentary, romance, and adventure, even more sumptuously created. Gemma's relationship with her friends Anne and Felicity is one of the strengths of the book: the girls fight, support one another, and change as the story progresses--in both the real and magical worlds. Bray occasionally relies on magic to cover up bumps in the plot, but readers will sink into her compelling, well-paced story anyway, and relish the combination of historical novel and imaginative fantasy world building. Teens will long for another sequel. --Stephanie Zvirin Copyright 2005 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

What beastly luck. When Victorian schoolgirl Gemma Doyle smashed the magical realms' runes two months ago (A Great and Terrible Beauty, 2003), she thought she was destroying evil. Instead, she unbound the magic and made it available to any malevolent force. In London for the Christmas holidays, Gemma must bind the power before disaster falls--but bind for whom? The all-female Order, which allowed corruption to enter the realms in the first place? The male secret society of the Rakshana, which wants Gemma dead? Betrayal is in the air, and the backstabbing distrust of London, where any girl or woman might be the evil Circe in disguise, is a far cry from the budding homoeroticism of Gemma's earlier adventure. To make matters worse, Gemma's father has become an opium eater, her erstwhile lover Kartik might be planning her death and her only clues to Circe's identity come from a Bedlamite. While the characters and setting lack the lush richness and depth that made the first volume appealing, Gemma's shivery adventures, lacking easy answers, make for an exciting mystical quest. (Fantasy. YA) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby, has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions of London, Gemma's visions intensify--visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the realms can explain. . . .<br> The lure is strong, and before long, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world of the realms that Gemma alone can bring them to. To the girls' great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.<br> But all is not well in the realms--or out. The mysterious Kartik has reappeared, telling Gemma she must find the Temple and bind the magic, else great disaster will befall her. Gemma's willing to do his intrusive bidding, despite the dangers it brings, for it means she will meet up with her mother's greatest friend--and now her foe, Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task.
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