It’s the Victorian Era in the year of 1896 when young ladies lives are planned from what they shall wear, to whom they shall marry and where they shall live. They need to know the proper etiquette of how much sugar goes into a cup of tea and to always wear your best smile even if you are dying on the inside.
Pippa who was once one of them, but now she is lost somewhere in the Winterlands. With her beauty changed, her teeth grown sharper and her hair wild as the vines on a tree itself she believes herself to be the savior. Ann with the disturbing eerie stare is the one who can turn rocks into butterflies, and can sail through a curtain of gold and can save water nymphs with her voice. Gemma is the girl who has to learn how to master herself, and who the Order thinks is headstrong and foolish while the Rakshana finds her dangerous and has romantic fantasies involving Kartik. Kartik was ordered to watch Gemma and kill her, but instead he betrayed his brotherhood by putting a price on his own head. Felicity with her snideness clings to the hope she can be saved. She is a futuristic young lady who desires fashioning women into pants, and thinks women don’t have to lose their identity when getting married by always taking on their husband’s name.
There’s Gemma’s father who Gemma regards as a white knight, charming and loving. Gemma has to see the true side of him being selfish, a man limited and determined to bring on his own demise. By doing so, she will find she is all alone in the world. There’s her brother Thomas who bears wearing the skull and the sword insignia of the Rakshana and Gemma must come to his rescue.
Gemma comes to understand there is a deeper bond of friendship between Pippa and Felicity than she realized. She wants more out of life than the women are known for in the Victorian Era with ample free time filled with gossip. She wants to make her mark and venture opinions that may not be polite nor correct.
The title of the novel is derived from the poem “The Rose of Battle” by William Butler Yeats a pattern of Libba Bray.
The Sweet Far Thing is like the ghost from the Christmas Carol Jacob Marley where it will take your soul and wish you stayed home darning socks.
The Sweet Far Thing is just ok. There were times I loved it. But as soon as I got into the book it became bland again and confusing, and I thought it’s a good thing this series is now ended with the confusion of Gemma having to be a superhero in the realms by saving the magic. However, I did like the way Bray ended the character of Kartik in the novel without giving it away. With more than eight hundred pages, beginning with a body found in the Thames River, to Gemma Doyle setting her sights on a copper-clad lady with a book in one hand and a torch in the other, it’s about magic, however, it’s not always magical.
For more information regarding the author Libba Bray, please visit her website at libbabray.com.
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray is a Random House Children’s Book. For more information, please contact their website at www.randomhousekids.com.
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