The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle #3)
By Libba Bray
Summary: It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum 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.
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Source: I purchased paperback
The Sweet Far Thing was the bittersweet, long, and well written conclusion to the Gemma Doyle trilogy. At over 800 pages, it completed the category of book over 800 pages for the 2017 POPSUGAR reading challenge, but it didn’t feel like it was super long.
Gemma didn’t do as she was told (big surprise there) with the magic in the realms. She let it loose and bound it to herself rather than choose sides in the fight between the Order and the Rakshana. Unfortunately, she was on everyone’s radar and placed some of her trust in the wrong people. In The Sweet Far Thing, Gemma struggled to return to the realms, use her magic, make decisions, and she didn’t know what to do. Her friends started to turn their backs on her, her debut into society was coming up, and Kartik was nowhere to be found.
The book was deliciously creepy, too, as Pippa and her merry band of factory workers ruled their section of the realms and were super eerie. Felicity and Ann didn’t seem to see anything wrong, but Gemma caught the look of hunger on Pippa’s face all too often, even in the last book. I loved the horror aspect. The East Wing of Spence was being rebuilt, the workers feuded with the Gypsies, things would go missing, rocks got painted with blood, and Mother Elena kept warning everyone about the dangers of rebuilding the East Wing. Even Brigid was weird about it. Still, Gemma couldn’t quite figure out how to fix anything.
Gemma struggled to keep her family and friends in check, too. It seemed everyone around her, including Gemma herself, made the wrong choices. Her brother was determined to feel important and ended up joining a mysterious gentleman’s club that Gemma swore was the Rakshana, her father was still ill, though much healed from his time in the opium den from the last book, and Gemma’s friends were a mess. Ann was constantly putting herself down and Felicity was determined to be scandalous, even though it meant certain social suicide. And neither of them seemed to trust Gemma anymore.
It was a mess, but an entertaining one. The ending was bittersweet and completely awesome and I feel that the large page number was worth getting through just to see it.