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The sweet far thing
Book
2007
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Fans of the Gemma Doyle series, which began with A Great and Terrible Beauty     (2003), will grab this novel, in which Gemma seeks to restore magic to the Realms, help friends and family at home, and find her place between the worlds. Given the page count, however, they'll need to set aside plenty of reading time. Scenes in the realms are weighed down by description, and they don't always advance the plot. Yet Bray does recapture the menace, mystery, and heady romance of the previous books, as well as the wry, sharp sense of the Victorian society.--Zvirin, Stephanie Copyright 2007 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

This trilogy closer fails to deliver on the potential of the stellar A Great and Terrible Beauty (2004). Schoolgirl Gemma is facing the consequences of her impulsive commitment to share the magic of the Realms with all magical creatures. Living up to her promises will require giving up her own powers, and without those powers, how will Gemma and her friends ever escape the choking propriety that Victorian society demands? Moreover, villains abound: Realms creatures keep turning up dead, villainous Circe might not be as destroyed as everyone thought and impatient centaurs turn against Gemma. Unfortunately, in this installment, Gemma's mystical adventure has slowed to a grinding pace. After hundreds of pages of inaction, rich descriptions descend to wordiness and Gemma's adolescent development is stilted, and the sex-positive, queer-friendly spirit of A Great and Terrible Beauty has vanished, replaced with a harsh magical morality. (Fantasy. YA) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
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.
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