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The Sweet Far Thing

(Gemma Doyle #3)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  68,295 ratings  ·  3,854 reviews
It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Having bound the wild, dark magic of the realms to her, Gemma has forged unlikely new alliances both with the headstrong Felicity & timid Ann, Kartik, the exotic young man whose companionship is forbidden, & the fearsome creatures of the realms.
Paperback, 819 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published December 26th 2007)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  68,295 ratings  ·  3,854 reviews

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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
This was okay, definitely not as good as the other two books in the series primarily because it was so unnecessarily long. I was pretty bored. Gemma was also much more of an unlikable character than usual. But overall I enjoyed the trilogy a lot!
Feb 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, historical, fantasy
And so ends the trilogy that began with A Great and Terrible Beauty, continued with Rebel Angels, and concludes in this final volume. I liked the first one well enough because of its unique blend of a wild, magical, mythical realm barely constrained behind stiff Victorian curtains. I really got into the second one as the plot became more complex, Gemma came into her own powers, Felicity and Ann's stories became more layered, and poor beautiful Pippa was relegated to the Realms indefinitely. Wh ...more
Dec 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caroline by: Karina
This was by far my favorite in the series, and I think a lot of it had to do with what Libba Bray was willing to have happen to her characters. The others have had their dark moments, but this was definitely the darkest of the lot. Makes sense, since it is the conclusion of a trilogy, and so there's got to be pretty big events to keep the story going.

It does take a while for the story to pick up, like in the others. Oh, and there's a veritable ton of Victorian society happenings that some reader
Wren (fablesandwren)
This was a reread of a reread of a reread et cetera (literally can’t tell you how many times I have put myself through this book). But I knew I needed to read this book again to have it fresh in my mind in order to review it correctly.

When asking my sister (who introduced this series to me in grade school) how I should review this book, she stated that I should just use crying gifs... so here are a few of those:

Libba Bray does not hold back when it comes to your heart. Yes, this book is a real
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only those who want to know how it all ends very badly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trina (Between Chapters)
Series review video:

The good:

The bad:
Wayyy too long. I was bored. The thing wasn't even resolved (they won a battle but not the war). The worst bleeping love triangle I've ever read.

The problematic:
Fat shaming. Horrible attitudes toward disability. Sexual orientation used as a plot twist. Issues of non-consent were never addressed. Sexual abuse backstory to excuse a character's meanness.
Mar 17, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Here's what I expected from this book: that it would maintain the part snarky, part serious, part romantic tone of the first two books; that the characters would grow a bit and the relationships would be as fraught as ever; that there would be some good old fashioned suspense leading up to the conclusion of the trilogy.

If any of those elements were present in this book, they got lost under pages and pages of sub-par writing; I don't come to books like this for Great Literature, but the others w
Jan 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love Twilight, Harry Potter, and strong female main characters
Recommended to Erin by: Emily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Okay, I'm going to start off with a warning. I will be talking in detail about how this book made me feel and if you haven't read it yet it is possible that my feelings will give away a crucial plot point. With that all I can say is I feel raw. Absolutely raw. I couldn't breathe. And I cried. A lot of tears were shed. The ending is by far one of the most brilliant, brave things I have EVER read, that does not mean that it wasn't absolutely horrible to read. And knowing that it was necessary, tha ...more
Ben Alderson
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.”

I have been reading this book for 2 weeks and I finally finished reading this book at lunch. I am currently in class and since I finished all of the things that I need to do, I thought that I would write a quick review on this book. This book was beautiful, I loved it so much, I was so sad when I finished it. I can't believe I finished the book, it was so crazy and so much happened.

This book is the last book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sunny Rae
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot even describe my love for this trilogy. It is simply amazing.
Girls finding their wings, and finding their light and dark corners. You will have to read to find out what that means.
lol, it is beautifully written, this author does not twist the truth, which i love. She tells the story as if it might happen to everyone, like the characters own personal plots. There are many unexpected twists(huge crying moments)
I really did find out more about myself. The person i want to become, and how
Lauren Kammerdiener
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those debating whether or not to finish the series. this one's worth it.
Out of the three books in this series, this one was probably the best. It contained more of a well-developed, central plot, stronger characters, more twists and turns than one would have expected.


Eight hundred pages is too long for a YA book, if you ask me.

I really do think Libba stepped up her game with this, though. For once, I actually felt a sense of connection to the realms: they weren't weak and flimsy feeling as they had been for me in the previous two books. I re
In the final book of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, the Order, the Rakshana and the creatures of the realms all want one thing - the magic. Gemma is caught between as everyone around her tumbles into chaos and the fight for the magic begins in earnest. While the creatures of the winterlands make a bid for control and Circe stirs, Gemma struggles to come to terms with the magic she holds and her place in this world and in the realms. As the story unfolds, Gemma discovers that nothing, and noone, is as ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This book is much larger than the first two, and it also is a lot slower than the other two. This book being the last in the series though she needed to cover a lot for everything to make sense. So the length of the book is needed and it indeed covered all the questions I still had from the first two books.
Jul 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
i’ve finally finished the eight hundred some pages of The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray. And I must say that in the last two days I have felt what I believe to be every possible emotion there is. I almost find myself at a loss for words in the shock that I still feel.

We once again join in the adventures of the girls of Spence that we have grown to love. The story once is centered on the magic of the Realms and what Gemma must to with it now that she has bound it to herself. Although I rather enj
Brigid ✩
My old review for this sucked so I'll attempt to sum up my thoughts in a slightly better way.

Well, this book is kind of near and dear to my heart because I was reading it on the night right before my little brother was born. (Awww.) So, whenever I think of this book, I think of that. I also remember how it kept me up until like 3 in the morning because it was so scary and thrilling and awesome and whatnot.

The ending was a bit frustrating, but ... oh well. Over all, this is a fantastic series wi
Lauren R.
Oh man, the feels and nostalgia. This series will forever be a favorite. I realize that this book was definitely way too long (probably 300 pages too long) but that honestly doesn't make me love it less. Gemma was a full-on badass toward the end. The other girls were total turds for most of the book though. Overall, I like the ending (minus one sad sad thing) and would totally read more if she wrote more. Just sayinnnnnnn. ...more
Jan 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who wants an easy, escapist reading experience
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I think it is a great testament to an author’s skill in writing prose, when they can evoke within you such emotions that makes you want to throw your book across the room, when the characters are being stupid, blind, or just acting in ways that are so frustrating you want to scream at them. Or, it is a well written story when your own heart beats against your ribcage when the main protagonist is feeling love, fear, or anger.

In my opinion, what also makes for a good book is when you want to do n
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys wearing pants.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit-read
This book was wonderful! I'm very sad to see the Gemma Doyle trilogy come to an end, but Bray sure took it out with a bang in The Sweet Far Thing.

Rather than talk about what happens in the novel, I want to touch upon one thing that really held my interest throughout all three novels: the discontent that Gemma feels over the restraints and limitations placed upon girls and women. Bray takes the opportunity through Gemma, Felicity, and Ann to make her female readers aware of the expectations place
Feb 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the first book it was good enough to keep reading the other books although I didn't love it. I really liked the second book, but after the whole series was finished I was rather disappointed. I thought the story was compelling, but if you're looking for a book appropriate for you teenage girls this is not it. There are far too many points of view that if you call yourself Christian you will probably have a problem with. I really wanted to like these books, but after the insertion o ...more
Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
I know, I just finished reading Rebel Angels less than 24 hours ago, and here I am again. Yes, right after book 2, I immediately read The Sweet Far Thing because I want to finish this series and absorb every detail as much as possible. And boy was I blown away! The best series ever!

The girls are back and the Realms become more sinister than ever in Book 3, The Sweet Far Thing. All have their own agenda and you’re not sure whether it benefits main gal, Gemma Doyle. Pippa and the girls are becomin
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This book.. wow this book. haha

Overall the series wasn't AMAZING to me, I really enjoyed the time period and the gothic feel, but I was never really in love with the series. With that said, this book is a great book, especially the ending. After 800 and something pages I felt very attached to the characters and the story, and I guess I did not really get that in the other two books. The beginning was fairly boring and sometimes hard to get through, I got a little put off because of the length an
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The rules of magic, my dear, are best not discussed. For once we understand the illusion, we no longer believe in it."

—Dr. Van Ripple, The Sweet Far Thing, P. 314

Libba Bray built up to the finale of her Gemma Doyle trilogy with a pair of quality novels, but neither compares to the ambitious excellence of The Sweet Far Thing. It's an eight-hundred-nineteen-page behemoth, with enough text for four or five lengthy novels, but Libba Bray works her magic as I've never seen from her before. There's
May 08, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
700 pages of this book are totally useless. Seriously. I admit that my reading habits during the term aren't conducive to falling in love with long books because I tend to read them in such fragments. But this book I read mostly in enormous hunks. And even though it is a quick read in terms of style, Bray seems to want to be J.K. Rowling and imagines that she has created this huge world here with lots of intricate characters and terrain and oodles of plot twists in the last book of the trilogy. ...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
20 1/2 hours of torture, knowing what I do, but I'm doing it, anyway. Because the story is so lovely in its sadness and life isn't all sunshine and rainbows and at least I can appreciate the fact that Libba Bray didn't lie to me about it.

ETA: Not quite as sad the second time around...I found it more hopeful than anything else. So glad I took the time to revisit this amazing series.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Needs a different ending!! 95 464 Aug 17, 2018 08:07PM  
What happens to Kartik and Gemma! 131 377 Aug 15, 2018 10:48AM  
word game ! 3 4 Nov 05, 2017 03:56PM  
Pippa 13 115 Jul 22, 2016 07:34PM  
Who loves Katrik? 26 134 Jul 22, 2016 07:24PM  
Around the Year i...: The Sweet Far Thing, by Libba Bray 5 41 Jun 05, 2016 02:44AM  
Pippa and Felecity 11 205 Jun 05, 2015 09:31AM  

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What is it about writing an author bio that gives me that deer-in-headlights feeling? It's not exactly like I'm going to say "I was born in Alabama…" and somebody's going to jump up and snarl, "Oh yeah? Prove it!" At least I hope not.

I think what gets me feeling itchy is all that emphasis on the facts of a life, while all the juicy, relevant, human oddity stuff gets left on the cutting room floor.

Other books in the series

Gemma Doyle (3 books)
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)
  • Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, #2)

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