A Great And Terrible Beauty

     First off... no, the title does not refer to me. Although my beauty is great, I would describe it more as sweet instead of terrible. What do you think? No, I really don't want to know. Just like I really don't think my beauty is 'Great'- just for anyone who thinks I have this huge head full of ego.

     Anyway... I mentioned reading Libba Bray's "A Great and Terrible Beauty" in a past post. This past weekend I read the second and third books of that trilogy- "Rebel Angels" and "The Sweet Far Thing". I didn't mention much about the first one, only that I felt the title was misleading. And by misleading I guess I should say that the books just weren't what I thought they'd be about. I picked them up mainly because of a review on Vickie Motter's blog (she's an agent I previously queried).

     So, getting down to it, the trilogy is about a girl- Gemma Doyle- whose mother dies, so she moves from India to a boarding school in England. Oh, and I should add that they take place in the 1890s. Right away that's brownie points for me since I love almost all things from the past. Gemma discovers she has this power to travel to "the realms", kind of a dream-like land. All three books are about her learning her power, fighting the evil Circe, and of course growing up. Gemma not only has to deal with her strange powers but the dissatisfaction of becoming a lady: corsets, being proper, balls, teas, getting married, etc. I think it's really well done just in the learning about what girls had to go through back then.

     My only gripes are, for one- I felt they were a bit long- the last one especially. I don't mind a long book, but with all the cutting of the unnecessary with my own book, I noticed things that could have been cut or meshed together in hers. My other gripe- the ending. It was a good ending. But in a way- sad. In some cases I love a sad ending- my heart thumps at the tragedy of it all. But in this case I didn't think it had to be that way. Of course it's not my book, so who am I to say what she should have done with her characters. But I felt the loss of one of them in particular. Which just goes to show you that the books were good because they had an impact on me. All in all, very good, and different from anything I've read before.