<i> "It has been a year of chance since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspecting 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 bounds.
"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 greatest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for." </i>
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Who recommended it to me: A woman in London when my mom and sister were there
Who I would recommend it for: Girls who are in 7th grade or up
First off I'd like to say how much I adored this series. The writing was excellent, the plot captivating, and it never slowed down, even when Gemma was in comportment class. Libba Bray has written a seriously great trilogy, and though they say that <b> The Sweet Far Thing </i> is the last of the trilogy, I secretly pray and hope every single day that there will be one more to this series. How come I always wish that at the end of a great series? I guess the answer is evident.
I finished the first book in a flash when my mom brought it home from London for me. I didn't savour it like I do some books. I couldn't stop reading it, and within 30 pages of the first book, I glanced at my mom and said, "Well, I think this is the best book I've ever read." Me, at 11 and a half years old then. I thought that the books were only sold in London, so I was near panicking when I didn't think I would be able to find the 2nd and 3rd books. I went into this little neighborhood bookstore a week later, and guess what, the books were there! I was thrilled at the abnormally large size of the third and (hopefully NOT) final book and literally begged my mom to get not one of them, but BOTH of them. She finally gave in and I bought the first book for my friend, who loved it, too.
Anyway, about the final book. The Sweet Far Thing. Everything about it is beautiful--the cover, the title, even the writing. Let me warn you that this book might have some references to fancy Victorian British things, but it is not dainty. The way the characters speak is rather historical, but I kind of liked that. There were classic bits of little British humor, which I loved, and a lot of snobby debutantes, but the main thing about this book is that it's dark. Seriously, seriously dark. If you're a teenager (or close to one) and you're looking for a book that has both dark stuff in it and some Jane Austen-type stuff in it, then this book is the one for you. I also want to quickly add that this book is verry long, 800 or so pages, and there are some chapters that honestly could have been edited down, but I kind of liked the size of it. More deliciousness to gobble up.
I read this entire series the summer before 6th grade, but I reread it recently (now it's the summer before 7th grade) and I liked it a lot better. There is some pretty heavy romance so definitely don't let your 9-year-old read it. Actually, well, it depends. I'd say junior high, but it completely depends on the person.
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