Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Great and Terrible Beauty

Bray, Libba. A Great and Terrible Beauty. New York: Delacourte Press, 2003.
[Book cover credit:]

New York Times Bestseller, Children's Chapter (2003)
ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2004)
Teens Top Ten (2004)

During the Victorian Age in England, young women, like the ones attending the Spence Academy finishing school, did not have much freedom. Ann, Spence's charity case, is only their so she may be a knowledgeable governess some day. Felicity has been all but abandoned by her parents at Spence. Pippa's parents are preparing to marry her off to the highest bidder. For these young women, nothing would seem more intoxicating that a legend about a society of women who control a world of magic, magic that they can use in this world to gain independence and power. For Gemma, who has been having visions since her mother's death, this is no legend bur a frightening reality. When she takes her friends into the realms with her and lets them to taste the magic will they all succumb to their fates or succumb to the magic of the realms, hoping to wield its powers? Or will they go against everything they have been taught and forge a third choice of their own.

Also, even though this has little to no bearing on the rest of the plot, how can you not love a book about a magical society in the Victorian Era that has the balls to make fun of and disprove Victorian Mysticism?

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