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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 February 2008
The third and final book in Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy, THE SWEET FAR THING picks up a few months after REBEL ANGELS ended.

It's now spring, and Gemma has been unable to reenter the realms with or without her friends since the Christmas holidays, when she sealed all the magic inside herself. She has grown uneasy with dreams of the supposedly dead Circe and the absence of Kartrik, despite his pledge to support her. As Mrs. Nightwing oversees the rebuilding of Spence Academy's long destroyed East Wing, Gemma discovers a door that leads into the realms. Soon she, Felicity, and Ann have rejoined Pippa in the realms.

All is far from well, however. Within the realms, the various tribes strive to convince Gemma to share her magic, and she finds herself unable to trust any of them. Circe is not dead after all, and her warnings frighten Gemma. And what of the new visions, in which Gemma sees a former student of Spence Academy, who writes of the Tree of All Souls?

Outside the realms, there is just as much uncertainty. Gemma prepares for her debut and tries to make her peace with her father and brother. Felicity's headstrong behavior has put her on the verge of losing her inheritance and freedom. Ann must decide whether to risk everything on the chance of a career in the theatre.

As dark forces spread through the realms and the girls' debuts approach, Gemma must find more strength in herself than she ever thought possible, and decide just what kind of woman she wants to be -- for herself, not anyone else.

Fans of the trilogy will tear through this book, eager to reach its conclusion and learn the fates of all its characters. Bray's descriptions of Victorian life and the mysterious realms are as colorful as ever. Gemma makes a sympathetic if sometimes frustrating narrator, believable in her struggle to make the right decision. At over 800 pages, THE SWEET FAR THING is far longer than either of the books before it, and there is some repetition to the earlier scenes, but those who love the world will be happy to spend as much time there as they can. Toward the end, the plot picks up to a heart-pounding pace. Between cheering the happier parts of the ending, and grieving over its inevitable sadness, readers will be glad to have lived through this tale with Gemma and her friends.

Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
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on 17 September 2010
This book is long and the first half takes some slogging through because that is where we see Gemma make so, so many mistakes. It gets rather tiresome to see how she continually doubts what she sees, wallows in indecision, trusts the wrong people, and has run-ins with her friends. Can't Gemma have just one confidant? Just one person who will actually understand that there is sometime serious going on in the Realms? Just one person who doesn't want the magic for her or his own gain? Ok. I guess she has Kartik, but he spends a good portion of the novel trying to avoid Gemma, and she spends a good portion of the novel angry with him. I know Gemma's isolation is a big part of her character but still.

Despite all that griping, the end of the novel turned out to be much more enjoyable because here Gemma deals with her mistakes and her friends come to her aid. I loved how things turned out with Circe. I liked the story with Pippa and the factory girls. I'm kind of still processing the whole Felicity and Pippa thing. How long was Libba Bray planning that? I can only think of clues in this last book. Felicity has so much to deal with. I guess I should have known that things wouldn't turn out happily ever after with Kartik, after all it's 1895 and he is Indian and Gemma English, but it was sad. I liked the lengthy denouement. We needed some downtime at the end. For some reason I was fearful that the book would end with Gemma losing her magic and the ability to enter the Realms, and I'm glad that wasn't the case
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on 28 May 2009
Well, it just got better and better. This is the last of the trilogy and the most satisfying. Yes, it has a lot of pages, but they were so many things that Bray had to address. What was great about this one? Even more action and plot twists, character development and transformation abound, and the final resolution for the coming-of-age of Gemma Doyle and the future of the dark and enigmatic Kartik. I can't wait for the films!
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on 3 June 2009
I confess: I absoloutley bawled my eyes out at the end, and might have thrown a bit of a tantrum because I didn't get the ending I wanted.

This book finishes this amazing sequel brilliantly, AND still managed to leave me wondering and wanting more. Yes, its very long, and may be very heavy to hold, but its all so worth it. I love this time period and its described very vividly. Its great if you just want to escape. Also I am head over heels in love with Kartik! I was totally enthrawled and believed the idea of the realms, without even a little doubt.
please read this, you won't regret it!
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on 13 March 2011
This book was horrible. It was amazing. I almost cried when it was over. I wanted to throw it across the room and scream to it. I wanted to hold it in my arms and never let it go again.

I can't write a coherent review about The Sweet Far Thing. The title is perfect for this book. It's such a bitter-sweet story, with the perfect open ending. It lacked the pace Rebel Angels had, but to make up for that, TSFT had a building sense of impending doom.

The first half of the book was quite a bore, nothing much happens, but then again, that was how life was in that time. There was nothing to do for ladies, except for sitting around, have some tea, and gossip. Attend some dances and get married with good fortune. You were not supposed to have an opinion of some sort, and your whole life was planned for you before you were even ten. Libba Bray shows this helplessness perfectly, and what happens if you just do not fit in this society. It makes me once again glad to live in this period of time, where it's okay to be different, and where it is considered normal for a girl to have a voice in her own life.

The realms were beautiful. I loved the growing darkness, the sense that everything they've worked for is falling apart, that Gemma is growing mad, the line between nightmare and reality thinning...

Gemma makes horrible choices. But then again, can we blame her? What would you do if so many people (and other creatures) depend on you, while you have absolutely no idea what you are up against. She is absolutely lost in all her responsibilities, without anyone to help her. Of course, Felicity and Ann, her closest friends are still there, but even there are some problems. 'Cause well, they just can't understand how great a burden it is for having all the magic of the realms bound inside of you. The sense of being misunderstood and being all alone is very strong in this book. Most of the time Gemma is brooding over what she is supposed to do. And I think this is portrayed very realistic. If I was in her shoes, I would have collapsed under the pressure a long time ago.

This is a beautiful story about strong girls. And in the same time I have no idea if I even liked it. One thing I can certainly say: this was one hell of a read.
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on 30 November 2008
brilliannt! I have just finished reading this trilogy for about the 10th time and i have to say they are a firm favorite on my book shelf. Quite possibly my favorite books ive ever read.
In the final book of the trilogy we see gemma trying to keep the realms in order while dealing with problems in her own world. her father is dying, grandmama is being a nightmare and her brother tom is becoming entangled with the workings of the rakshana. while felicity and ann also struggle to sort themselves out the real focus is on gemma and her workings in the realms. But also we see the intense relationship bewteen gemma and kartik come to a head. i have to say that out of the trilogy this isnt my favorite as i would have liked a different end to the series but i loved it all the same.
so if you read 'a great and terrible beauty' which is my personal favorite i strongly recommend reading the final two. If like me you wnat to see what happens to gemma and co you certanly won't be disapinted with what libba bray delivers!
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on 20 April 2016
"There is an ancient tribal proverb I once heard in India. It says that before we can see properly we must first shed our tears to clear the way"-Gemma

Another beautifully written book for the series, advancing characters more, even Gorgon and Kartik were developed more in this novel allowing you to feel for them all.

With beautiful imagery we follow Gemma in her last adventure at spence. She is pushed to her limits with almost everyone demanding the magic, she although sticking with Victorian roots she learns to liberate herself and find a way to take charge to try overcome the new challenges.

It's a book I fear I can't say too much about encase I spoil it. But if you've read one and two you shall not be disappointed with the final book of. The series.

Five stars.

"They say a lady should not feel such desires, but how can a lady not? I shall have to sleepwalk through my life not to feel the pull of those lips"-Gemma
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on 22 June 2011
This took me quite a while to read; due to the sheer size of the book I've been unable to carry it around in my bag and read on the bus or on my lunch break(as I am prone to do)which is why it has taken me so long to finish.

The third in the trilogy by Bray, and it's a fantastic ending to the series. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it though it's not without its flaws. Think this one could have been condensed somewhat but will blame that on an editing error. I found some the characters (in the entire trilogy and not just this book) absolutely deplorable, and felt some of the writing was used as filler, but on the whole well worth a read.
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on 24 October 2011
I've read all three now highly recommend them and they are wonderful, however... I did feel taking it to three books was stretching the material a bit too thin as 'the sweet far thing' is taken up with endless trips back to the realm to find out if pippa was really bad or not and I must admit i skimmed a lot of this, wanting to cut to the chase. Gemma is a fantastic character, the writer skillfully juggles a whole host of scenarios and characters, lovely gruesome bits, some good reveals but... its just needs a good edit!
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on 17 July 2011
This book is amazing from start to finish! Her epic adventures and forbiden romance bring the story to life. She has troubles and lifts, every day events and twisting fantasy, all set in the 19th century! Sometimes I just peep through my fingers to read it because it is so unbelievable. It's a must read for any mood that just fantastic! You do not know what you are missing!
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