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eBook The Sweet Far Thing (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy) download
For Children
Author: Libba Bray
ISBN: 0385902956
Subcategory: Growing Up & Facts of Life
Publisher Delacorte Books for Young Readers (December 26, 2007)
Language English
Category: For Children
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 273
ePUB size: 1954 kb
FB2 size: 1627 kb
DJVU size: 1773 kb
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eBook The Sweet Far Thing (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy) download

by Libba Bray

Home Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing. You, sir, she says, pointing to the unfortunate fellow. My dear friend here is far too modest to make a confession of her admiration for you.

Home Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing. The sweet far thing, . 3. Part of Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray. Therefore, I’ve no choice but to make a case on her behalf.

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy is a trilogy of fantasy novels by American writer Libba Bray. They are told from the perspective of Gemma Doyle, a girl in the late nineteenth century. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy consists of three books: A Great and Terrible Beauty (published December 9, 2003), Rebel Angels (published 2006), and The Sweet Far Thing (published December 26, 2007).

3 primary works, 5 total works. Book 1. A Great and Terrible Beauty. Eindeloze verte: Het troebele tij. by Libba Bray. Er is een hoop veranderd sinds Gemma een jaar.

I will admit that the book Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray. It took me over two weeks to finish and I came very close to throwing the damn book across the room with only 70 pages to go. I have to say that I am very upset that Kartik died.

The characters in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy appear in a group of three fantasy novels by Libba Bray, set in late 19th-century England, and published between 2003 and 2007: A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing.

Book 3 of 3 in The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (3 Book Series). I downloaded The Sweet Far Thing immediately after I finished Rebel Angels, desperately eager to continue the story and see how Gemma was going to resolve this mess she made for herself. It’s a lengthy book, coming in at over 800 pages (which I’m sure is more impressive when you’re holding a physical copy versus having it on a Kindle, but 800 pages is still 800 pages), and I hoped I was in for a climactic finale that would pack the satisfying punch the trilogy deserves. It deliver. ort o. ut getting there was sometimes a struggle.

Libba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing); the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Going Bovine; Beauty Queens, an . Times Book Prize finalist; and The Diviners series

Libba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing); the Michael L. Times Book Prize finalist; and The Diviners series. She is originally from Texas but makes her home in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, son, and two sociopathic cats.

Gemma Doyle isn't thrilled to be sent to a snobby private school while her mother is away on a work assignment, but unexpected friendships . Unearthly Anecdote by PerpetuaLilium. Fandoms: Gemma Doyle Trilogy - Libba Bray. No Archive Warnings Apply.

Gemma Doyle isn't thrilled to be sent to a snobby private school while her mother is away on a work assignment, but unexpected friendships may help her to explore the secrets of the Realms.

The Sweet Far Thing, page 1. part of Gemma Doyle Series. But to write the last book in a trilogy, it takes more than a village.

IT HAS BEEN A YEAR OF CHANGE since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father alaudanum 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.From the Hardcover edition.
I downloaded “The Sweet Far Thing” immediately after I finished “Rebel Angels,” desperately eager to continue the story and see how Gemma was going to resolve this mess she made for herself. It’s a lengthy book, coming in at over 800 pages (which I’m sure is more impressive when you’re holding a physical copy versus having it on a Kindle, but 800 pages is still 800 pages), and I hoped I was in for a climactic finale that would pack the satisfying punch the trilogy deserves. It delivers…sort of…but getting there was sometimes a struggle. Spoilers follow.

Spring has arrived in England and Gemma’s year at Spence is coming to an end. Soon, she and Felicity will make their debuts into London society and begin their seasons as eligible young women fit for courting while Ann is destined to serve as a governess to her uppity cousin. If the stress of prepping for Spence’s ball, perfecting her curtsy for the Queen, and fearing that she’ll never see her friends again weren’t enough, the magic is changing, and the rebuilding of the East Wing seems to have something to do with it. The realms are in turmoil, its different factions gearing up for war both among themselves and with the horrible creatures of the Winterlands. Add to that the ever-present threat of the Rakshana and new visions of a mysterious woman in violet, and Gemma isn’t sure to who trust or what to do…but she’ll have to figure out something if she’s to keep the Realms from colliding with Victorian England.

There’s a lot to cover in this final installment, and “The Sweet Far Thing” does a fine job with picking up the threads left hanging at the end of the last book as well as starting a few new ones. However, and I hate to start this review off on a negative note, it tries to cover a little too much. Honestly, the situation in the Realms alone would have provided a premise fascinating and full enough to fill the final book, especially if sprinkled with some (“some” being the key word here) high society in the real world in between Gemma’s adventures in the Realms; but Bray has opted to pad the story out with hundreds of pages of unnecessary subplots regarding Felicity and Ann, travelling to London to track down magicians and attend social gatherings, multiple visits to the Realms to visit Pippa, and sections dedicated to preparing for the ball. This all leads to a poorly paced novel that, while interesting, seems to take forever to achieve anything meaningful. I spent weeks reading this simply because I often wasn’t enthralled enough to keep turning pages and kept putting the book down due to Gemma and friends not seeming to really get anywhere. It’s an odd issue since the previous books didn’t suffer from it. I tore through those, greatly enjoying bouncing between the freedom of the Realms and the constrained life of London; it always felt like the girls were moving forward in the plot, toward something that would matter, something that I just had to get to. Here, it often felt like Bray was stalling for some reason. Some set-up is needed to make the ending impactful, sure, but a lot of stuff could have been trimmed down or cut out entirely to create a better, more satisfying book.

When the book does pick up, it really gets going. This, sadly, doesn’t occur until about a hundred pages from the end, but it’s quite an exciting ride, which demonstrates that Bray knows how to write a suspenseful, thrilling conclusion to draw all of this together…it just took a lot of throat clearing to get there. When Gemma finds the answers to the deep mysteries that are the Order, the Realms, and the people that inhabit it, it’s generally pretty fascinating, both in terms of the answer itself and the buildup to it. When she finally unleashes her power and begins decisively pushing forward to end the chaos both in the Realms and back home, we get equally caught up in the whirlwind of events. I think I blew through the last hundred pages in an evening; I just didn’t want to put it down, and that’s what I wanted from all 800 pages of this novel: an intriguing story that captured my attention and kept me eagerly flipping the pages like the first two books.

I’m of two minds regarding the ending itself. Reviewers seem to be pretty divided over the book’s sad outcome, particularly in regards to Kartik’s death. I actually quite like that Bray chose to go this route. Call me a cynic, call me depressing, call me a killjoy, call me whatever you want, but I don’t always like happily ever after endings that give the protagonist everything she wants regardless of what she’s been through, and I feel like a lot of the YA novels I’ve read recently have done this. A big theme of this trilogy has been sacrifice: Gemma’s mother sacrificed her life; Eugenia Spence sacrificed her identity; Gemma often teeters on the edge of sacrificing her sanity; Pippa sacrificed a life with her friends in the real world, and on a broader scale, women sacrifice their own wants and desires every day in their tightly controlled society (as we’re told many times throughout the books). And just in case you didn’t pick it up, the word “Sacrifice” is repeated over and over by the creatures of the Realms in regards to Gemma and her magic. It’s not a particularly unsubtle theme, but it’s fitting to the tone of the setting. So, with that in mind, there was no way that Gemma was going to walk away from the final battle without giving up something…that something just ended up being someone. Bray writes Kartik’s final moments well: Gemma’s desperation, Kartik’s determination to bring an end to the fight, and the reality of what was happening nearly had me in tears. It’s gut-wrenching in its finality and I both admire and appreciate that the author didn’t chicken out on this and have Kartik return in some form. This has never been a very happy story, so I didn’t expect it to have a cheery ending. Gemma was prepared to sacrifice her life to bring an end to the Winterlands, but she wasn’t expecting to lose the one person who seemed to truly understand her, and that’s what makes the outcome so impactful and emotional.

Then following that beautiful, heartbreaking development, we get a long epilogue wherein we learn that Ann went on to perform on stage with the Merry Maidens and Felicity has moved to France to escape her father. So they both got what they ultimately wanted, and I’m ok with that. There’s no reason for them not to end up where they did, especially when they both worked hard to achieve their goals. No, my problem is with Gemma. Up until the epilogue, she had been excited about her debut, even if she wasn’t too thrilled with the state of London’s high society. I can accept that losing Kartik might suck the joy out of these social conventions, but that’s not what seems to be bothering Gemma. Bray uses her protagonist as a mouthpiece in the epilogue to promote her ideas on feminism, and that’s what irks me. It’s not like the concept wasn’t already being explored with the setting, the time period, the constant lamentations of both Felicity and Gemma regarding not being able to make their own choices…and it worked well with how confining Victorian London was, especially to upper class women. What doesn’t work is suddenly having Gemma demand that Mrs. Nightwing start teaching the girls of Spence to think for themselves, look down on women that don’t quite have the strength to break from the chains of their station, and decide to move to New York to seek an education and make a life for herself away from men. It just doesn’t sound like Gemma – it sounds like the author trying to shove her opinions down our throats. I love it when a theme like feminism explored throughout the story, using the setting and characters to weave a narrative that makes the reader think, which is what Bray did in the first couple novels. I despise when an author assumes that the reader won’t grasp the concept and starts beating them over the head with it, which seemed to be the entire purpose of the epilogue. We don’t even get a good look at what’s going on in the Realms after the Tree of Life got the sacrifice it needed since Gemma makes a point of not going back. It’s just so frustrating to see a trilogy that handled some big ideas pretty damn well fall into such a big pitfall. I wanted to see Gemma strike out and forge her own path, change her destiny like Ann and Felicity succeeded in doing (without magic, even!), and to a point, her staying alone fits with the ongoing theme of her not fitting in…but I hated that she became the author’s soapbox.

Despite the shortcomings of the story itself, the setting continues to be wonderfully realized. Gemma straddles two worlds, Victorian London and the Realms, and they couldn’t be more different. Bray does an amazing job of making these places feel very real. London is stifling, ordered, and constrained. Gemma tends to use a lot of corset imagery when describing it, and I’m inclined to agree that this comparison is quite accurate (though on a personal note, I love my steel-boned corsets, but I digress…). The contrast between the upper levels of society and the lower levels are explored when Gemma and Kartik venture to the docks and I loved the inclusion of spiritualism and its rising popularity. The world is changing, slowly embracing new technologies and ideas, and the author incorporates them well into the text and characters. It’s a very authentic setting and it’s clear that Bray knows the period well. My singular complaint is how easily the girls were able to move around. They often had chaperones, but were able to shake them with little trouble (granted, the magic usually had a role in that), leaving the young ladies to wander about as they pleased (and how the plot required). That mild nitpick aside, the setting felt as consistently real as it did in the previous books, and I’m pleased that Bray didn’t lose that defining characteristic.

In contrast, the Realms are chaotic and free, the complete opposite of London’s obsession with etiquette and tradition. We see a lot more of the Realms in this book, stretching into the forbidden Winterlands, and I’m delighted to say that the author took just as much care in characterizing this strange world as she did London. While Gemma generally knows what to expect from Victorian society, the Realms are a complete unknown to her, and even at the end we get the distinct impression that there’s a lot more to them that we didn’t see. “A Great and Terrible Beauty” focused on the Realms being a wonderful, magical place where the girls can do anything they desire. “Rebel Angels” introduced a darker aspect to what the girls saw as paradise. “The Sweet Far Thing” shows us that this wondrous place is a lot more macabre and unsettling that it initially appeared. Bray manages to strike a good balance between making the Realms seem both threatening and inviting and when it gets dark, it doesn’t work in half measures. The two worlds combine to create a deliciously gothic, eerie setting that works to make this trilogy stand out. The drawback to this, however, is that it takes a lot of pages to establish the environment, which in turn leads to that pacing problem I mentioned above. The settings are given a lot of detail, but at the cost of bogging the book down as a whole.

As far as romance is concerned, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the relationship between Kartik and Gemma in the first two installments given my general dislike for all things romantic. Unfortunately, my feelings in this book were a little more mixed. Previously, Gemma had been held to the rules of the Victorian world, which kept a certain distance between the pair. This gave them an aspect of forbidden love that, combined with their natural chemistry, made the couple sizzle. In this novel, Gemma has decided to say screw it to some of her societal restraints and is set on doing what she wants…which in this particular context is Kartik. They don’t flaunt their love for one another (Gemma at least has enough sense to keep this under wraps), but they do spend more and more time alone together, kissing tentatively at first, making out, touching, and I’m pretty sure they would have gone farther once had they not almost been walked in on. They definitely have chemistry, and some readers may enjoy a stronger romance angle, but these books have never been about romance to me. I liked that Gemma used to be able to put her feelings aside to focus on the greater problem, but here she spends a lot of time pining over Kartik and contemplating her feelings for him. It adds to that pesky pacing problem that I keep bringing up. To me, this trilogy was always more about the mystery of the Realms with a side of unattainable romance, but the romance tried to take center stage in this last book, a disappointment given how well the previous novels balanced the relationship drama with the other, perhaps more important issues.

When all is said and done, I still liked Gemma as a character. A lot of reviewers have expressed frustration toward her for waffling on what to do, resulting in a lot of people dying, but that’s actually what I like about her. It’s easy as a reader to say that Gemma should just do what she promised at the end of “Rebel Angels”: give some of the magic back to the people of the Realms, facilitate an alliance between the different factions, and never talk to Circe again…but from Gemma’s perspective, it isn’t quite that simple. It has to be remembered that Gemma is only seventeen. She’s been given a burden that she doesn’t want, everyone is turning to her to solve the conundrum of the Realms, and she can’t trust the people that should be guiding her. So she makes mistakes, big mistakes that have big consequences, and it’s great that the author actually makes her take responsibility for her actions. When she realizes she’s mucked something up, she often attempts to set things right, but sometimes it’s just too late. Her making mistakes and learning from them is what makes her so relatable in my opinion. She’s not an adult in a teen’s body; she’s a teenage girl with a lot of responsibility on her plate and very few people she can rely on. I also enjoyed her gradual dependence on the magic, especially after she had stated earlier in the novel that she wanted to avoid doing just that, and her attempts to wean herself off of using it. Though I disliked that she became a stand-in for Bray’s views at the end, it’s apparent that Gemma has become a different person for all she’s been through; she’s grown, and for the most part, we’ve been right along with her, seeing her change as events unfold. One could argue that she perhaps isn’t the strongest heroine out there, and they’d be correct, but she’s definitely relatable and has some admirable qualities.

Felicity, Ann, and Pippa vary in their portrayal and development. Ann displays the most growth of the three, finally growing a backbone and taking decisive steps to become what she wants rather than what everyone tells her she will be. Years of being raised to remember her status will never allow her to be as strong willed as Felicity or as disobedient as Gemma, but she comes a long way from the spineless, simpering girl we met at the beginning of “A Great and Terrible Beauty.” I only wish it hadn’t taken so many pages (most of which aren’t relevant to the main story) to get there. Pippa’s character arch is fascinating, much like watching a very fiery train wreck. Gemma senses that something is a bit off about their friend in the Realms, and her intuition is spot on. Pippa demonstrates just how corrupted the Realms can make someone if they choose to stay. Her inner desires and insecurities are exploited and magnified to the point of insanity. Her end (and the events surrounding it) is brutal, and she dies a far cry from the romantic she once was. Felicity frustrated me the most. She’s described by the other girls as headstrong and spirited, and we’ve seen her strong will work to her advantage in previous books. Here, however, it tends to be demonstrated by her constantly running away to see Pippa despite everyone telling her not to. If it just happened once, it wouldn’t be an issue, but she runs off into danger quite a few times, necessitating Gemma to come after her and often leading to some catastrophic outcomes. She’s not stupid, so one would expect her to learn after it happens the first time. She’s also still throwing small tantrums when she doesn’t get her way, which is just annoying. Still, I continued to enjoy the dynamic between the girls and (though others disagree) rather liked that even at the end, you can’t be sure that they all would have been friends if not for Gemma holding the magic (since they seemed quite happy to be rid of her once they briefly attained it themselves). Gemma is largely alone in the world, both by circumstance and choice, so it’s a fitting relationship if not exactly happy.

We can’t touch on Felicity and Pippa without addressing their romantic relationship. Really now, what the Hell was that? I’m not opposed to same sex couples appearing in YA novels. In fact, when done well, I applaud the author and enjoy it. That was not the case here. Up until the girls started boldly making out in front of everyone, I had assumed that their relationship was simply a strong friendship. Yes, they often held hands, danced together, and shared secrets, but isn’t that what close friends do? Also, in the first book, Felicity is caught kissing a gypsy boy and Pippa stays in the Realms to be with a handsome knight…in short, them being lesbian lovers felt sloppily tacked on simply for the point of including it. Gemma remarks that it was obvious and she should have seen it long ago, but I don’t think there was any buildup to it. It just comes out of nowhere and feels forced.

The other characters fare pretty well. Kartik is always interesting, even if he’s spending a lot more time thinking about Gemma. Circe, while not a positive character, ends up not being completely evil (I always love a grey antagonist) though also can’t fully be trusted. Both Ms. McCleethy and Mrs. Nightwing receive some more characterization and even Fowlson is taken beyond just being the Rakshana’s henchman. My personal favourite side character was Tom, who is just as much a product of his time as anyone else, but manages to maintain a sense of humour when it comes to Gemma. The factory girls were fleshed out a lot better than I expected them to be and I wasn’t expecting Simon Middleton to return and actually be reasonably likable. Some, like the other girls of Spence, fall flat and come off as two-dimensional, but many of the minor characters serve to help characterize the setting and give the book a little more life.

“The Sweet Far Thing” offers a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, but takes an agonizingly long time to get there. The settings, both London and the Realms, are fully and beautifully realized, though at the cost of drawing out the book much longer than it needed to be. The ultimate sacrifice is heartbreaking and Gemma has definitely grown from the spoiled rich girl we were introduced to in the first novel. Sadly, the author decides to use the protagonist as her own personal soapbox, which only serves to pull the reader out of the story. At over 800 pages, this book has a solid plot the more than does its job of bringing Gemma’s story to a close; had some of the subplots and travelling (and therefore a couple hundred pages) been cut out, it could have been an amazing book. It gets 3.5 stars from me, rounded down to 3 for sometimes being a slog and containing some questionable character choices.
Read the reviews for all three of the Gemma Doyle books. There is a remarkable degree of agreement. Book One, ("A Great and Terrible Beauty"), is marvelously conceived and well-written; Book Two, ("Rebel Angels"), is a worthy continuation, still well-written but beginning to wander; Book Three, ("The Sweet Far Thing"), is overlong, confused, and ultimately disappointing. Somewhere along the line the plot becomes confused and aimless, the characters lose all sense of weight or direction, and the writing becomes bloated and diffuse.

All of that said, don't be discouraged. Book One is so good that you should still embark on the journey. You will become engaged enough with the characters to still enjoy Book Two. As for Book Three, about half of the reviewers started skimming just to see how it all ends, and that isn't a bad strategy.
Yellow Judge
I thought I would love this series but I just thought it was okay. I won't spoil anything for anybody but I will talk about some of my general issues with this series. So first and foremost I was very frustrated with Gemma as a heroine. When I read the first novel I thought she had so much potential but she seemed to make the same mistakes over and over again and didn't really learn till the end.. I just felt like she lacked common sense at times which became frustrating. Gemma was very naive and gullible that I started to lose respect for her. I do understand this is a coming of age book but it just took her a while to learn. At times she even acted like a petulant child. Also her "friends" never seemed to truly act like a friend to her which bothered me. There were some inconsistencies with the story but a lot of times there are in this genre. I also feel like the author lacked the ability to give proper details. At times she would go into too much detail about unnecessary things. Other times she just wouldn't explain aspects of the story well enough. I grew very frustrated when she would mention something and she seemed to expect the reader to understand it but then 50 pages later she would give a real definition after mentioning it already. I also was not impressed with the ending of this book and I don't think I am the only one who feels this way. I was not very impressed with this series even though I thought it had potential if it was just executed better. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy aspects of the story and how some of the characters developed but overall I feel like it could have been much better than it was.
I am on the same page as many others. After I finished reading this, I wanted to know what others thought.

The books in and of themselves were entertaining on a Harry Potter, Eragon level. I could have picked them apart for the inconsistencies and lack of development, but I chose to enjoy them, and I thoroughly did. I took the story at face value and had a fun read. The only thing I could have done without were the not so subtle feminist messages. I am all for women having strength, but she kind of ranted a little bit at times.

What Libba Bray did have going for her that set these books apart from others was an amazing and beautiful love story. It wasn't teeny-bopper. It was two people who found their strength on their own and then came together for a greater purpose. She told the story of their destinies and their souls coming together, and it really gripped me. SO I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY KARTIK TURNED INTO A TREE?!?! She had it set up so well- they had come together, the magic in the realms had changed...sure the whole book alluded to the fact they they couldn't be together in real life, but that's why I was hoping for a surprise happy ending. It just didn't have to end the disappointing way in which it did. I think Kartik's life was cut too short. It seriously had me bummed.

As to the fact that the girls remained self centered and immature- well, they were teenagers.