Review Detail

4.2 106
Young Adult Fiction 28189
A Tantalizing Tale
Overall rating
Writing Style
Reader reviewed by Fiona Flamingo

With an intriguing title, A Great and Terrible Beauty captures the reader within its pages instantly. However, as the chapters progress, you will realise that the book with attention-grabbing title, is also in possession of a swiftly-moving plot, sharply etched characters, historic setting, gripping style combined with a supernatural twist.

So, what exactly is A Great and Terrible Beauty about?

Gemma Doyle isnt your ordinary sixteen year old of the 1800s. For one thing she lived all her life in India. Secondly, she isnt refined and elegant like the other young ladies of her age. Thirdly, she has the gift of visions; foggy photographs of the future. This is how the story unfolds, an argument with her mother concerning moving to London, a temper tantrum, stalking stranger and cruel and blood-curdling dream and&the death of her mother. However, it was no ordinary death-it was suicide.

Gemmas wishes are granted, she travels to London to become Spence Academys newest student. Strange, mysterious events evolve there as her visions grow more vivid, a diary is discovered, the realms are opened and ultimately, a sacrifice is made.

A Great and Terrible Beauty is a thick, transfixing fantasy with a different twist that most would enjoy. Although, interestingly written, I feel the novel lacks in originality. Some of the ideas seem used and dont hold the same appeal as unique idea. Still, I liked the usage of the different time period, which gives the story an extra edge.

Nonetheless, A Great and Terrible Beauty was a thoroughly satisfying read. I recommend it to girls who enjoy supernaturalistic fantasies with hints of romance and mystery.
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