Synopses & Reviews
Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy—spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Lord Denby. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify—visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain.
The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world that Gemma takes 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 realms—or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face-to-face with her late mother's greatest friend, now Gemma's foe—Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task. . . .
This sumptuous companion to A Great and Terrible Beauty teems with Victorian thrills and chills that play out against the rich backdrop of 1895 London, a place of shadows and light . . . where inside great beauty can lie a rebel angel.
"Although Bray's follow-up to A Great and Terrible Beauty feels a bit like a bridge between the launch and the next installment in her series, fans of the author's first novel will nonetheless remain enthralled by Gemma Doyle's latest adventure. In the first chapter, narrated by Kartik, the handsome Rakshana novitiate with whom Gemma flirted in the last book, members of his brotherhood give him a charge: to find the Temple within the realms, secure its power for the Rakshana and then kill Gemma. Gemma then narrates the balance of the novel, as classmates Felicity and Ann set forth to locate the Temple in order to bind up the realms' powers (unleashed when Gemma destroyed the runes at the close of the last book). However, they discover that the runes' destruction has set the magic in chaos; classmate Pippa (trapped in the realms in the last book) looks more beautiful than ever why did she not have 'to cross'? Can she be trusted? Such questions of trust plague Gemma. What is Kartik's motive in signing on as her father's driver? Plus, a mysterious new teacher arrives who may or may not be Circe (whom Gemma blames for her mother's death), and Gemma's brother, who works at a mental hospital, leads the teen to a patient who may know how to locate the Temple. Gemma's and Ann's love interests, meanwhile, further mine the theme of Victorian class and society. Bray provides a satisfying ending, yet she implies a further struggle for power. Fans will want to stay tuned. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Bray realizes the time period not only in her skillfully embedded descriptions of sounds, textures, and smells, but also by evoking the social framework within which Gemma must move, at least while above ground." School Library Jounrnal
"[R]eaders will sink into her compelling, well-paced story...and relish the combination of historical novel and imaginative fantasy world building." Booklist
"[H]as enough mystery and excitementto thrill the most critical readers." Children's Literature
"Filled with darkness and fear, the story also tells of friendship and love, reliance and rebellion. Every family has its secrets and those in this story are no different, but also very different." Children's Literature
"Bray realizes the time period not only in her skillfully embedded descriptions of sounds, textures, and smells, but also by evoking the social framework within which Gemma must move." School Library Journal
"Gemma's shivery adventures, lacking easy answers, make for an exciting mystical quest." Kirkus Reviews
Ah, 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 intensify-visions 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 realms or 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 friend-and now her foe, Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task.
Gemma and her friends from the Spence Academy return to the realms to defeat her foe, Circe, and to bind the magic that has been released, in the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Reprint.
As Spence Academy student Gemma Doyle prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, with her friends in London, she experiences intense visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened something only the realms can explain.
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 libbabray.com.