Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Sweet Far Thing

I got this book yesterday and I finished it today. When you compare its 819 pages to the 972 pages in Forever Amber that I've been reading for 6 weeks and have yet to finish, you can see that this was a truly compelling read. I LOVED it!

This comes as no surprise, since I also loved the two earlier books in this trilogy by Libba Bray. It starts with A Great and Terrible Beauty and continues with Rebel Angels, and this is the finale. It is amazing, wonderful, a true work of art.

Can you tell I love these books? I love them so much that I can't even describe them clearly, but instead can only think of words like "fabulous" and "perfect" to tell you how I feel about them.

But let me try to give you some background. First of all, these are found in the "young adult" section of the library because they follow the story of a teenage girl named Gemma Doyle, living in Victorian England. She discovers in the first book that her mother, who has recently died under mysterious circumstances, was a powerful priestess belonging to The Order, a group of women who control a place called "the realms," a place of magic and mystery, a place that entices and threatens, a place with a dark secret.

I can't really say much more than that about the plotline without giving too much away, and I don't want to give it away because I want you to read these books! I will say that they are much more than fantasy novels. They deal beautifully with issues of autonomy and women's rights, growing up and being an outsider, questioning social norms, friendship and love, and finding and being true to yourself. The author, Libba Bray(different link from the previous one), is one of those people that I desperately wish I could be friends with, mostly because if I could write so wonderfully, these are EXACTLY the kinds of stories I would tell.

I can't wait for her to write another story!

P.S. Have I ever mentioned to you that I enjoy reading young adult fiction from time to time? Check out Sorcery and Cecelia or City of the Beasts for some other really, really great reads that also happen to be found in the YA section of my local library. ;)

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