Book Review: The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle #3) by Libba Bray

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.

While Rebel Angels is my favorite book in the Gemma Doyle series, The Sweet Far Thing was a perfect end to the trilogy.  This book is huge---over 800 pages!  Despite the size, I sped through this one in two days.  I just couldn't wait to find out how the story ended. 

Gemma and her friends do a lot of growing up in this story.  While I did agree with the ending, it was bittersweet and I was sorry to see some of the characters meet the ends they met.  I was thrilled with the conclusion of Ann's story though.  Ann was my favorite character in the series and I loved seeing her come into her own at last. 

Much like Cassandra Clare's writing, the imagery is what sets this series apart.  The way Bray describes the realms, and the mortal world as well, is oustanding.  I felt like I was really there the whole time.  Bray keeps you on your toes with plot twists and surprises.  Just when I thought I knew what to expect, she would surprise me.  I love that!

I would recommend this series to anyone.  Fans of Cassandra Clare, Harry Potter, Twilight, and Prophecy of the Sisters will enjoy the Gemma Doyle trilogy.  Big thanks again to Abby for recommending this series to me!

Just One Gripe: 
If you're dead set on happily ever afters for all of the characters you will be disappointed. 

The Best Thing About This Book: 
The imagery and world-building.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Setting/Imagery: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Total Score:  24/25


  1. I thought "The Sweet Far Thing" was a perfect ending for the Gemma Doyle series. I can't really think of any other way it could have ended and still be true to the characters and their world. The ending made me teary. What did bother me was too much description, which I thought slowed the plot down a bit for me but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Check out Bray's livejournal where she talked about the ending and fan's reaction (it was definitely mixed). Great review!

  2. I have the first book of this series, but I guess it got pushed far behind with all the other amazing books piling on my bookshelf. I can't wait to give this book a try ! ^_^

  3. This is a new one to me... 800 pages in 2 days! So you did not SLEEP?? This does not bode well since I went through a zombie phase to finish reading Suzanne Collins' Hunger Game series....

    Ahhhh do I ... do I not.. do I... do I not???


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