Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Great and Terrible Beauty
By Libba Bray
Reviewed by Lisa Doyle-Redmond

A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first book in a fantastic trilogy by Libba Bray. The books are an intriguing mix of history, fantasy and magic. The story begins in India in 1895 when a horrific event changes the course of 16-year-old Gemma Doyle’s life and she is sent to the very prim and proper Spence Academy in England. She must learn to become a young lady just as her world has been shattered and she has developed a strange and uncontrollable ability to glimpse visions of past and future. She must navigate the rigid social hierarchy of Victorian England as well as discovering her own destiny. Why is she being followed by a handsome young Indian man? How will she ever make friends with the cold and unwelcoming young ladies of Spence? How is her mother connected to an ancient magical group called the Order? Featuring a witty and feisty heroine and a magical spellbinding plot which unfolds through all three books this is a tale for those who like to curl up and enter a fantasy realm that is dark thrilling and gothic.

5 stars

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