The Sweet Far ThingHot
The writing for this book is wonderful, the whole time i read the book i was reading like a English person that i wish to be. There was a few times i wanted a cup of tea ( and i hate tea ) cause of this book.
The Sweet Far Thing, probably, could stand to lose 200-300 pages. The middle sections grow tedious with the back-and-forth between Gemma and the tribes in the realms. Who gets the magic? Is Gemma lying? How can they trust each other? On and on it goes for 500 pages. Add in a few fairly unrelated adventures such as Gemma’s “rivalry” with an American heiress and Felicity and Ann’s struggles to be themselves. It was, honestly, too much, and it was only Bray’s astounding skill and creativity that kept me reading.
Libba Bray’s prose is really quite amazing. It’s powerful, compelling, completely engaging, and addicting. I’ve never read anything quite like it. I think it says something when an author’s skill with words can effectively mask flaws and give readers the illusion of perfection. I mean, there were times when I almost liked Gemma Doyle in this book, and believe you me that would be a hard task to accomplish.
Another big selling point in this book is world-building, setting, and creativity. In the second book, Rebel Angels, readers finally got to fully experience the magic of the realms, and I knew that in this book Bray was going to have to maintain that experience. Luckily, she did, and she did it quite well. I love the realms. I love the fantasy/paranormal creatures and elements incorporated into this series. I love Bray’s originality in concept and execution of premise. It’s completely amazing.
One thing I do have to say, though, is that while The Sweet Far Thing has a lot of surface appeal, it doesn’t go as deep as I would like. This has been a consistent problem with the series, though I think that in many respects, this book is a huge improvement over A Great and Terrible Beauty. Perhaps it’s because the story is so far outside of any traditional idea of paranormal YA. It outclasses itself.
My biggest problem, and it is also a recurring issue, is the romance. Well, first off, I really think this book would be just as strong without the romance aspect, as is evidenced by the way Bray wrapped things up—i.e. no eternal vows of love. Kartik, as a character, was kept as so much of an enigma that I had to wonder what Gemma saw in him besides his physical appearance. One minute he’s a jerk, the next he’s making jokes, then he’s taking off Gemma’s clothes, then he’s laughing like a little boy. Bray was not at all consistent with who Kartik was or what his role was supposed to be. It definitely felt forced, like Bray felt she had to include a love interest because, duh, YA Rules & Regulations command it to be so. Yeah, maybe Kartik served a purpose at the very end, but his role could just as easily have been taken on by any other character.
But gosh dang, the end was flawless. I am admittedly a complete sucker for endings that are sad, upsetting, depressing. The final 50 pages of The Sweet Far Thing were so beautiful and so balanced between despair and hope, I couldn’t handle myself. Holy cow. Now, I’d been spoiled for this ending already, but nobody can really portray that ending like Libba Bray can. I didn’t want to read this book because of the ending, but really, the only reason to read this book is because of the ending.
Altogether, The Sweet Far Thing was my favorite Gemma Doyle book. Because of this series, this author has a special place on my favorites shelf. With her massively strong prose, her phenomenal creativity, and her heartbreaking conclusion, Libba Bray won me over even when I didn’t want to be won. Hats off to her!
This book took me forever to finish, which is necessarily a bad thing. I thought the beginning was good and the ending was ok but the filing in this book just seemed to bore me. Nothing really happened, I felt like it was just stuck between the beginning and the climax when all you're doing is waiting for something. However the ending was exceptional (Kartik!!!) and I have to say it pleased me. I'm not sure what I really thought about this series. I liked it but I didn't exactly love it. Oh well...
"The Sweet Far Thing" by Libba Bray is a book based on magic, a group of girls and the realms which is a different world. It is about a young girl named Gemma Doyle. Gemma finds herself once again at Spence Academy with her friends, where she must learn how to become a proper lady. But Gemma, finds herself also caught in chaos when she thinks that the magic is lost from her. She also is confused because she doesnt know who or what to trust. Gemma also want sto know why the school is restoring the east wing, the place where her mother died and went into the realms. Gemma, Felicity, Kartrick are on an adventure that involves magic, love, war and challenges. This book keeps you in suspense because in the end...well i don't want ot ruin it so you'll have to read it!
** spoiler alert ** 3.5 stars. I was slightly disappointed in this one, both as the ending to the trilogy and as a stand alone.
What I didn't like:
It was too long.
It was too descriptive.
Not enough action.
Gemma's attitude of holding off on the alliance for so long that things got out of control.
Kartik - so sad!
The fact that Circe was so feared and hated in the first two books, but then ended up being sort of a friend to Gemma and not the powerful force that she was built up to be.
And the always undefined and changing rules of the realms and of the magic that frankly seemed like they were used only to propel the plot.
What I did like:
Although it did have far too much description, the descriptions themselves were beautiful.
The surprise between Pippa and Felicity if only for the sheer fact that it was totally unexpected.
The fact that the magic went back to the land.
That Pippa finally got what was coming. I was slightly disappointed in this one, both as the ending to the trilogy and as a stand alone.
I listened to the book and I'm glad that I did, because I don't think I would have had the patience to actually sit there and read 800+ pages. I was extremely sad that Kartik ended up entombed in the realms - could he ever come back?? I'm sure he could if another novel was written....I know the ending was both sad and hopeful, but I really would have liked to see Gemma take more control as a sorceress and of course fulfill her love story with Kartik. First two were much better than the third.
This is one of my ALL time favourite books. This books takes place in 1886 in england at the Spence Academy for Girls. Gemma doyle is a witty girl, who has not too long ago discovered her gift of magic. This book takes you through different univereses not to mention love, life and loss. This book is definitely a page turner something you will not want to put down. Libba Bray is a genius with words and she will take you through many twists and turns.
Libba Bray's novels are something everyone should be reading. They're highly acclaimed and interesting. Plus you get that steamy romance that everyone craves! In her last installment, The Sweet Far Thing, it was enjoyable and satisfying to see a good end to the series, but at the same time I was a bit disappointed. I personally was let down by the events occurring in the book, but that doesn't mean I still don't enjoy 'em! I am a hopeless romantic (thanks a lot, Stephenie Meyer!) and can't stand the idea of a love lost. Out of all the books this was my least favorite, but still a must read.
The Sweet Far Thing is the final instalment in Ms Brays historical fantasy trilogy for young adults, starring Gemma Doyle, Victorian teenager and hereditary sorceress. As the final year at Spence Academy unfolds, Gemma and Felicity are soon to have their season in London and be presented at court before Queen Victoria, while Ann will be despatched to a life of servitude, her natural talent for singing neglected. In the Realms, the race is on to destroy Gemma and seize her power, while Gemmas ongoing attraction to Kartik, a former member of the magical brotherhood the Rakshana, is developing all the more strongly. In this final climactic episode of the trilogy, written in the classic five-act format of the tragedy, characters will be killed; begin relationships; come out; take charge of their destinies. Perceptions of good and evil will be challenged, and futures decided for the young women whose fates initially appeared so set in stone. For the readers who have been with Gemma et al since the first book, The Sweet Far Thing is likely to be an affecting read, especially towards the end, as the losses and gains of the battle for the Realms mount up.
I found myself smiling at quite a few scenes, particularly those in which the teenage protagonists characters are explored. Brays talent for creating likeably flawed personalities is clear, and the younger characters in particular are in most ways very believable. They do not conform to the frigid Victorian stereotype held by many people nowadays, nor are they wise and responsible beyond their years; indeed, Gemma frequently makes errors of judgement the sort of which one would expect from a young girl still coming to terms with life, both in and outside of the magical Realms. Her relationship with Kartik is not presented as the be-all-and-end-all of her existence, and while the ending of the story is far from happily ever after, there remains a strong sense of hope and possibility for the futures of the girls at the centre of the tale.
This 819-page epic can move slowly at times, but I prefer to think that the leisurely pace of this final installment is a sign that Bray just doesn't want to say goodbye to these characters. I have a hunch that her many readers will be just as reluctant to leave Gemma, Felicity and Ann --- despite the happy endings and surprise joys that lie on the far side of danger.