The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

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RATING: 4.5/5

BLURB: “It has been a year since Gemma Doyle first arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy, and much has changed.Having bound the wild, dark magic of the realms to her, Gemma has formed unlikely and unsuspected friendships with Ann and Felicity, and Kartik, the exotic young man whose companionship is forbidden. She has also come to an uneasy, tenuous truce with the fearsome creatures of the realms. But now, the time has come to test the strength of these bonds. As her friendship with Felicity and Ann faces its gravest trial, and with the Order grappling for control of the realms, Gemma is compelled to decide once and for all which path she is meant to take. Her destiny threatens to set chaos loose, not only in the realms, but also upon the rigid Victorian society whose rules Gemma has both defied and followed. Where does Gemma really belong? And will she, can she, survive?”

REVIEW: I have thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this trilogy, and found the final installment just as gripping and tense as I did the first time around; even though I knew what was going to happen I still found that I couldn’t put the book down and found myself sobbing at the end just as I did the first time. In this book, the magic is loose in the realms and despite Gemma’s alliances with many of the creatures, there is civil war within, particularly between the forest folk and the untouchables. Gemma is also preoccupied by visions of a woman named Wilhemina Wyatt, who seems to be trying to tell Gemma something important about the Order from beyond the grave. This book has an extremely lengthy and complex plotline, full of magic, desire, betrayal and friendship, and I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling the ending for first-time readers. All I will say it that after reading it a second time I have confirmed for myself that this series is one of my favourite of all time, and I would highly recommend it – though be warned, the story is often dark and the ending will break your heart!

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