In the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty, amidst the distractions of London, Gemma's visions intensify -- visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the realms can explain....
Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence
Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy
balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she
prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby,
has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions
of London, Gemma's visions intensifyvisions of three girls dressed
in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the
realms can explain. . . .
The lure is strong, and before long, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world of the realms that Gemma alone can bring them to. To the girls' great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.
But all is not well in the realmsor out. The mysterious Kartik has reappeared, telling Gemma she must find the Temple and bind the magic, else great disaster will befall her. Gemma's willing to do his intrusive bidding, despite the dangers it brings, for it means she will meet up with her mother's greatest friendand now her foe, Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task.
Spence Academy for Young Ladies
The very mention of the holiday conjures such precious, sentimental memories for most: a tall evergreen tree hung with tinsel and glass; gaily wrapped presents strewn about; a roaring fire and glasses filled with cheer; carolers grouped round the door, their jaunty hats catching the snow as it falls; a nice fat goose resting upon a platter, surrounded by apples. And of course, fig pudding for dessert.
Right. Jolly good. I should like to see that very much.
These images of Christmas cheer are miles away from where I sit now, at the Spence Academy for Young Ladies, forced to construct a drummer boy ornament using only tinfoil, cotton, and a small bit of string, as if performing some diabolical experiment in cadaver regeneration. Mary Shelley'...
he setting and the book jacket blurb give the impression that this series might be long on melodrama but this is not the case. The writing is strong, as are the characters. However, this book does not stand alone, to properly follow the storyline it would be best to start with the first volume and, those who enjoy it, will be eager for the third, The Sweet Far Thing, which is due in September 2007.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
the beginning, you envisioned Gemma as a heroine who kicks
butt and takes namesall in a
corset and crinoline. What
changed about the character
after you began writing the
book? What stayed the same?
Libba Bray: It's hard to believe, but I actually envisioned Gemma and the book as being much lighter and funnier. Yeah, right, because dealing with supernatural visions, secret societies, and lots of not-quite-dead people is always a real laugh riot, right? Okey-dokey. Moving on . . . I did always ...
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