The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

2007
12.23

sweet far thing Well, Merry Christmas to me, as the sequel I’ve personally been waiting for all year (no, not Deathly Hollows or Edward vs. Jacob, Round Two) was gifted to me several days before it’s December 26th on sale date, allowing me to gift YOU in return with this review of the sumptuous Sweet Far Thing, the third volume of Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle Trilogy (which begins with A Great and Terrible Beauty) At the end of Rebel Angels, angsty Victorian teen Gemma was able to bind the magic of the Realms to herself to keep it out of the hands of the warring Realms tribes. Her goal was to eventually unite the tribes by sharing the magic with all of them. But the longer Gemma holds the magic, the harder it is to think of giving it up, especially when it allows her a freedom in her own world that she used to be able to enjoy only in the Realms. She can create illusions that alter her physical appearance, and that of BFFs Felicity and Ann, frighten away unwelcome suitors, and even cause snippy schoolmates to crash and burn during their ballet recitals. But while Gemma is using her power to play dress-up with Felicity and Ann, Realms folk are running amok, fighting and even killing each other to try and force Gemma’s hand. Meanwhile, Mrs. Nightwing is rebuilding the cursed East Wing in order to reopen the portal to the Realms, Circe may or may not have actually been neutralized, The Rakshana are threatening Gemma’s brother’s life, Pippa’s gone lulu (and not in a cute way) and Kartik’s back, seriously steaming up Gemma’s gabled windows–all while Gemma is trying to prepare for her debut season, where she will be presented to Queen Victoria along with all the other upper crust debutantes. Talk about an  inconvienient  time to have to battle demons and topple armies of the dead! Though it takes 800+ pages to do it, Bray manages to tie up every end she loosed in the first two books, while continuing to develop Gemma’s defiant, curious, headstrong character, who grows into her newfound power and learns to wield it with caution and respect. Bray knows her third book’s big–she even gives a sly nod to the fact when Gemma complains about an unwieldly text, “I curse authors who write such lengthy books when a few neat pages of prose would do.” I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a big book that satisfactorily answers all my questions anyday, and this one certainly does that! An excellent purchase for some of that Christmas or Hanukkah money that’s burning a hole in your pocket.

12 Responses to “The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray”

  1. hali says:

    omg! i just found this website and i am in love with it!!
    im such a book worm…
    i found this site by trying to look up The Luxe

    anyway, i didnt know there was a third book to the Gemma Doyle books.
    im so excited!!! i cant wait to read it.
    i also want to read The Luxe, but its unavaliable at the library. i’ll just buy it, cause the cover is gorgeous!

    sorry for the long comment,
    & i love this site!

  2. Jen Hubert says:

    NO apologies necessary, and thanks! I’m glad you found us! Both The Luxe and SFT are fab, come back and let me know what you think if you get your hands on them.

  3. amber says:

    So, i just want to tell everyone that i didnt cry, i WEPT at the end of this book. It’s such a fantastic read, there are literally no words to describe it, i know that sounds corny but i dont care. None of my friends have read these books and ive been threatening them to, I need someone to talk to someone about them- haha. oh well, i suggest if anyone hasnt read this series immediately. and the luxe- another amazing book, cant wait for the sequel to it!!! :D

  4. Alex says:

    These books are fantastic! This series is definitely one of my favorites. Everything about it was great. I was so sad when I finished it–I cried for like three days. Gemma was such a great main character, she was so strong. And I loved her comebacks! The Luxe was also really good. I don’t like Gossip Girl or the Clique because I’m like this might as well be science fiction: this is not what goes on in high school! With the Luxe, it’s just as much drama, but it seems more real. I just wish they had pictures of every dress in the book like the one on the cover!

  5. Jen Hubert says:

    Yes, the Luxe certainly inspires period-dress-envy. But so do those hot covers on the Great and Terrible Beauty books!

  6. Danielle says:

    Is there going to be another book???? I have to know because this is an amazing series!!!

  7. Jen Hubert says:

    Sorry to say, Danielle, but this is it. Libba Bray only planned to write about Gemma for a trilogy, not an ongoing series, so the third one is the last one. Another good book that’s similar in tone is The Minister’s Daughter by Julie Hearne.

  8. Jessica says:

    Absolutely amazing. All of three books! The end was so good, I had to keep reading so I wouldn’t stop in the middle of it. As as result, I ended up reading 300 pages in one night and not getting much sleep at all.
    Good books make me think at the end of them and I know I’ll be preoccupied all day now.
    It was a ridiculously good read, for anyone who asks.

  9. elizabeth says:

    I cryed when Kartik got sucked into the tree. And even thoughi think she went kooko i cryed for Pippa too… and Miss McCeethy, and Amar, and Euegina even she turned out not to be the saint we thought she was. And Gemma going crazy at the masked ball was scary. AHHHHH!!!!!!!!! it was a AWESOME book.

  10. Jen Hubert says:

    I agree, Elizabeth! A rousing end to a great series.

  11. kait says:

    So I finished this book yesterday and: oh my god. To be completely honest and such a girl, I only read the second book because of Kartik and Gemma. I liked it, but didn’t love it. Book two: amazing Book three: no words can describe. The ending was heart wrenchingly amazing and I’m getting goosebumps… over a book. I totally and completely recommend reading all three!!

  12. I says:

    most AMAZING trilogy EVER. READ IT.

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Jen Hubert Swan
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