Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
Courtesy of Teens Read Too
on 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