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The Sweet Far Thing Paperback – Apr 28 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (April 28 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440237777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440237778
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 4.4 x 20.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #174,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, October 29, 2007:
“A huge work of massive ambition.”

Review, People, December 24, 2007:
"This is a rare treat that offers a bit of everything--romance, magic, history, Gothic intrigue--and delivers on all of it in 819 beautifully crafted pages."

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Libba Bray is the author of the New York Times bestselling Gemma Doyle trilogy, comprised of A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing. She is also the author of Beauty Queens and Going Bovine, which won the Michael L. Printz Award. Libba lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, son, and two cats. Visit her at

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Sweet Far Thing carries right after the events of Rebel Angels. Alliances have to be made. The magic has to be given equally to all tribes but Gemma hestitates. She loves the magic too much and likes helping her friends and loved ones by using it. Yet bad terrible things are happening in the realms and there's a strange eerie power that's growing in the dreaded Winterlands.

Be forewarned, this is a BIG book. It's slightly over 800 pages. So give yourself ample time to read it. This is a lot to read through and I'm afraid to say it, but it does seem to drag a bit. The girls go into the realms, then they're back to reality. This goes back and forth a lot and it gets tiring a bit. The reader can't help but get frustrated but, when you progress through the novel, the ending and the climax makes up for it tenfold. That being said though, there's a lot of action in this book. Fans of Victorian gothic and magic will love this. There's a good balance between the "real world" of Victorian England and the "other side" where magic, and fantasy come to life.

I still adore Gemma. She's not afraid of breaking any rules of propriety and does not care what the world thinks of her in their social circles. I like that about her. She wanted to run her life as she saw fit and didn't care what others thought of a woman running "loose and free" in society. She hasn't lost her wit (in fact it increases ten fold in this book) and her innermost thoughts still make you chuckle. What I didn't really like about her, is it seemed as if her friends just used her for her magic, and I thought Gemma was a lot stronger than that. Then again she's afraid of being lonely and is only doing what they ask for to please them and to let them stay with her.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Gemma enters the realms and is clearly a very important and powerful person the the world, and yet she lacks the spark that requires me to believe that she is really this powerful person. The first hundred pages of the book are characterized not by her actions, but by her inactions; she waits and thinks and never really does anything. I realize that the author is attempting to give Gemma a teenage naivete and her head strong tendencies, but she makes obvious, point blank mistakes by never trusting common sense and never listening to those more exprienced than she; even when she admitts that she does not know it all. Also, Gemma is constantly incapable of seeing the "big picture" she threatens the neatrality of the world because she wants to save her friend from a life as a governess, which is not great but considering the apauling living conditions of many people during the industrial revolution her position is not all that bad. Though Gemma does grow throughout the book I find the protrayl of women in this book horribly cliche as if the entire population of women at the time were brain dead and without ingenuity; which I highly doubt.
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Format: Paperback
First of all, I found this book too long. I actually enjoy when books are long (more to read!) but in this case there was too much. It seemed like half of it wasn't really necessary and was just extending the plot. However I loved how this book tied up any loose ends because usually the last book of a series or trilogy will leave you hanging. As well the end was well written and I enjoyed it (except for one part which I will not spoil).
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