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The Far West (Frontier Magic #3)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  2,989 Ratings  ·  350 Reviews
When the government forms an expedition to map the Far West, Eff has the opportunity to travel farther than anyone in the world. With twin Lan, William, Professor Torgeson, Wash, and Professor Ochiba, she finds that nothing on the wild frontier is as they expected. There are strange findings in their research, a long prairie winter spent in too-close quarters, and more new ...more
Kindle Edition, 389 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press (first published August 1st 2012)
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Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. WredeSilver on the Road by Laura Anne GilmanAcross the Great Barrier by Patricia C. WredeThe Far West by Patricia C. WredeNight Calls by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel
Best Fantastic American West
4th out of 14 books — 27 voters
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueThe Decline of the West by Oswald SpenglerNorthern Lights by Philip PullmanBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownA Terrible Revenge by Alfred de Zayas
Cardinal Directions in Titles
32nd out of 218 books — 21 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 20, 2015 Andree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, 2013, 2015
Sept 2015 reread - Just got around to rereading the third one in this trilogy. What can I say, I still enjoy it. It's a very comfortable read. I enjoy how it deals with female characters. I enjoy how it portrays scientists. And I very much enjoy Eff and William's relationship. Though Lan still annoys the crap out of me.

2015 Reading challenge - A trilogy

I love this series. I think I'm going to have to buy it.

Sorcery and Cecilia might still be my favourite book (co)authored by Patricia Wrede, but
V. Briceland
May 20, 2013 V. Briceland rated it really liked it
Every few months, an Internet controversy arises that requires no more of its participants than to leap upon some minor perceived slight, fan the flames of controversy, and then bask in the blazing hot fires of self-righteous fervor. It doesn't matter if the popular flavor of the month is whether a Disney princess appears in a too-feminine dress on the company's website that none of the shrieking masses visit, or whether a satire site said something unkind about a public figure whose movie ...more
May 26, 2012 Natalie marked it as to-read
Shelves: fantasy
The covers are getting increasingly worse. The mousy brunette on the cover isn't how I imagined Eff at all. What happened to the simplistic, calligraphic writing on Thirteenth Child?

Jul 23, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
08/2012 This is the third book in the series. I liked the first book (Thirteenth Child), really liked the second book (Across the Great Barrier), but The Far West is probably my favorite. It may not be everyone's cuppa tea, because the pacing is at times slow, covering quite a few years. But I like Eff, who is a fascinating heroine as she is a complicated, adventurous woman who tries to balance what she wants with her love of her family. I also appreciate that Eff is adventurous (and can shoot ...more
Feb 03, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it
Meh. That goes for the whole series - meh. I'm pretty sure Wrede had a clever idea and pitched it her to her agent/publisher and contracted for a three book YA series of x words each and this is what came out. There's good world-building but we're never fully immersed in it; good character voice but I never cared about the main character that much; good secondary characters, but their backstories are never fully developed; etc. Honestly I think following around one of the secondary characters ...more
I finished reading The Far West yesterday. First off this is probably one of my favorite books of the year. I couldn’t devour the pages fast enough; I honestly wanted to call into work just to finish it. In fact I was late picking up my boyfriend so I could do just that.

Some points I would like to touch on.

1) The author always manages to give off that warm happy fantasy feel with her writing; like I want to snuggle down into the story and that it should never end.

2) In this series Ms. Wrede does
In the final book in the Frontier Magic series, Eff joins an expedition to travel further West than anyone has ever gone before. As they travel to the west, Eff continues to grow in her magical abilities and to unite the three different schools of magic within her. But the creatures of the west are more dangerous than any they have yet faced and they threaten to bring the great barrier crashing down unless she can find a way to stop them.

This series is great fun. I really loved it. And I don't
Mar 30, 2014 Karissa rated it really liked it
This is the third and final book in the Frontier Magic series by Wrede. This has been a great series, it is very deliberately paced but I really enjoy the characters and world. This book is a very satisfying conclusion to the series.

When the threat of the Medusa lizards became apparent in the last book it is decided that someone needs to go on an expedition to explore the Far West and figure out what is driving the Medusa lizards into the settlements. Eff, Lan, William, Professor Torgeson, Wash,
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne Osterlund
Nov 07, 2012 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it
Eff has dreams. Of a forest. And mountains. And choices.

Then the news arrives that there is to be an expedition. Farther west than anyone has ever traveled before. Her twin brother, her brother-in-law, her would-be fiancé, and her childhood friend, William, have all been invited.

But Eff is the one with the dreams.

This is the third novel in Patricia C. Wrede’s Frontier Magic series. A wonderfully written story of an alternate-fantasy history in which Columbia (aka America) has hardly been settled
Teresa Carrigan
Jul 05, 2016 Teresa Carrigan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Excellent YA fantasy. This is the third in the Frontier Magic (trilogy? series?). I could see this being the last book; the epilogue wrapped up the loose ends very nicely, but it did leave room for another book too.

You probably want to read the books in the proper order. First one is "Thirteenth Child" and second is "Across the Great Barrier". Main character is female, and a school girl in the first book but about 18 in the second books and 21 or 22 at the end of the third book. The setting is p
First Second Books
Eff continues her exploration of the far west, and this book again contains dragons (whole packs of them!) and also magic that works in a relatively logical kind of way, both good things. My favorite new magical creature of the book: the invisible disappearing giant foxes. Can we have more of them, please?
Lilian Deforest
I saw the romance coming from the first third of the first book, but it was still well done and satisfying. :)
Oct 19, 2014 Jasmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scholastic
This are totally in the spirit of Little House books, if Laura was magically dyslexic, and and interested in natural history. And there were mammoths and steam dragons and medusa lizards.
Aug 01, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very satisfying finale to Eff's trilogy, and if Patricia Wrede ever wants to write a fourth book she has left herself space to do so. That makes me happy because I (and my 10 year old nephew) *love* this series. I read it in one stayed-up-too-late-to-finish-my-book evening and I thoroughly enjoyed myself while I was doing so. I do have some concerns with the world building in this series, and they did nag at me extra hard during this book especially, but the story of Eff growing up ...more
Jan 10, 2013 Shoshana rated it really liked it
I loved this conclusion to the Frontier Magic trilogy! These books are so fun. Like the other two, there's a lot of dawdling in the first half of the books, as Wrede lingers over slow building changes and Eff's daily life as the years go by. Weirdly, this stuff is almost as enjoyable as the second half, where they're actually doing stuff.

Eff is a great character, and there are several other characters who get some more arc in this book, which is great. I also love the way Wrede has layered and b
Aug 08, 2012 John rated it liked it
Eff joins an expedition trying to reach the Rockies, and along with discovering even more kinds of deadly magical creatures deepens her own magical abilities while participating in a massive collective spell to head off a disaster that is brewing for all of her family and the settlers back home. None of this even begins until halfway through the book, though, and while I do enjoy Wrede's leisurely, amiable style of story spinning the chapter after chapter of mundane activities and explication ...more
MB (What she read)
2.5 stars. Nice world-building, very dry magic system with too much academical and boring pontificating. Heroine was competent but sure didn't toot her own horn. Eff is very different than the usual special snowflake fantasy heroine, so unassuming and almost too much of a doormat even though she always comes through and manages to save the day. I guess that's more historically accurate, but for me as a modern reader it is frustrating. Eff is in the background too much for a main character. ...more
Oh, Frontier Magic series. On the one hand, I like you a lot. Eff is a wonderful heroine, and the worldbuilding is (for the most part -- more on that in a minute) right up my alley. That part of me really, really wants to give you five stars.

On the other hand, you are extremely frustrating, and giving you five stars would just be wrong.

I have the same problem with this series as a whole that I had with Thirteenth Child: Wrede's decision to completely eliminate indigenous people from the narrativ
I enjoyed this a lot. She writes with such a fluid and engaging style, but I have to admit that this one is more like a collection of anecdotes about a fantasy Wild West culture. Eff is 20 now, but still sounds like the 13 year old of Thirteenth Child. The systems of magic are fascinating, her family endearing and infuriating, and the action only starts about halfway through.
Jul 06, 2015 Ami rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I really do adore Patricia C. Wrede's writing and world-building. Who else would think of having an Old Western fantasy series and then execute it so well? This third installment in the trilogy was much better than the previous, despite the fact that we all knew what Eff would decide to do at the end. Despite the predictability, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
Sep 14, 2012 Ita rated it it was ok
2.5 stars actually. The plot, what there is of one, plods. We get a lot of details which don't add to the story.

The characters are mildly interesting and pleasant, but not particularly striking or endearing. I was not emotionally invested in any of the three books.

I'm not sorry I read them, but at the end I was left with a "is that all there is?" feeling.
I've really enjoyed this YA series. I hope this isn't the end of the series. they set it up for at least two different future adventures. I'm sure that the author can work those into at least 2-3 additional books (hint, hint)
Karyn Silverman
Aug 19, 2012 Karyn Silverman rated it really liked it
Shelves: specfic, z2012-reads
An excellent conclusion to the slowest paced, telliest not showiest strangely satisfying series ever.
Jun 25, 2016 Mandiann rated it liked it
Shelves: w
2.5 stars

This series had a great world but it kind of felt anticlimactic. It was almost as if other than the world, there was no real story.
Apr 24, 2013 Ellie rated it really liked it
Not very enthusiastic about this cover!


Well, it was pretty good. Not as good as the first two, I think, but it wasn't disappointing.
Sep 28, 2016 Megan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
A solid, satisfying story with an engaging heroine and a fascinating setting. Wrede's Columbia, an alternate version of America, has just enough shared history to give a solid sense of place and culture (I may have gotten just a few patriotic tears at Eff's whole"Columbian, not Avrupan" moment) , while constantly revealing new differences to throw the reader juuuust off balance. The frontier flavor of the series feels both authentic and fresh (and manages to not really be steampunk at all), and ...more
Kim K
Nov 07, 2016 Kim K rated it really liked it
It did feel like it wrapped up rather quickly and I'm not sure the relationships didn't feel a little forced, but the world bending was just and interesting and engrossing.
Oct 22, 2016 Loretta rated it really liked it
Loved the trilogy. Enjoyed watching the protagonist grow, learn, and become her best self.
I loved this trilogy! I read the first book when it first came out several years ago, but kind of forgot about it until a few days ago when my mother was looking for a new book to read and I found the Thirteenth Child for her. She inhaled it and the rest of the trilogy in just a few days (unusual for her), so I decided to pick it up again. I'm so glad I did! The world building is really well done, there were very few anachronisms which weren't explained away by magic, but I also didn't feel like ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 21, 2015 11:16AM  
2013? REALLY? 2 35 Mar 21, 2012 08:12AM  
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Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children. She started writing in seventh grade. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all. She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974. She finished it five years later and started her ...more
More about Patricia C. Wrede...

Other Books in the Series

Frontier Magic (3 books)
  • Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic, #1)
  • Across the Great Barrier (Frontier Magic, #2)

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“It took us most of the morning to put together the letter she sent to the Frontier Management Department, and I learned a lot about how to be frigidly polite and still leave somebody feeling like they'd been spanked.” 18 likes
“Sometimes I couldn't help thinking that the unluckiest thing about being the thirteenth child was having all those older brothers and sisters telling me what to do.” 8 likes
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