Book 3
Gemma Doyle Series

April 1, 2009

Delacorte Books for Young Readers




The Sweet Far Thing
by Libba Bray   


It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father alaudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected 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 bonds.

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 gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.


"Review from Celine"  By The Romance Reviews 2 years ago

- rating


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 bittersweet story, with the perfect ending. It lacked the pace Rebel Angels, the second book in this series, had but to make up for that, TSFT had a building sense of impending doom.

In the last book of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, we see our Victorian heroine struggle with all the trouble that has accumulated throughout the series. After her mother died in mysterious death, Gemma discovered there is a world beyond ours, a world of magic called the realms. But the Order, the protectors of the realms, had bound the magic, and no one could enter the beautiful realms any more.

In her previous adventures, Gemma has bound the magic to herself, not knowing at all what consequences this might have. Now, she must face the creatures of the realms together with her best friends, and make a pact, so that all the magic will be split equally between the races. The problem is, not all creatures in the realms are kind and harmless. There is trouble stirring in the Winterlands, and Gemma is the only one who can stop it from spreading…

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 is 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 in a very realistic manner. 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 at 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.