The second book in the critically acclaimed New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Gemma Doyle trilogy, an exhilarating and haunting saga from the author of The Diviners series and Going Bovine.
Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby, has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions of London, Gemma’s visions intensify–visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the realms can explain. . . .
The lure is strong, and before long, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world of the realms that Gemma alone can bring them to. To the girls’ great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.
But all is not well in the realms–or out. The mysterious Kartik has reappeared, telling Gemma she must find the Temple and bind the magic, else great disaster will befall her. Gemma’s willing to do his intrusive bidding, despite the dangers it brings, for it means she will meet up with her mother’ s greatest friend–and now her foe, Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task.
“Extraordinary.”—VOYA in a Perfect 10 Review
“Remarkable.” —School Library Journal
A New York Times Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
A Book Sense Bestseller
A Book Sense Top Ten Selection
BBYA (ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults)
Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award
Iowa High School Book Award
Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award
Golden Spur Children’s Literature Book Award (TX)
Although Bray's follow-up to A Great and Terrible Beauty feels a bit like a bridge between the launch and the next installment in her series, fans of the author's first novel will nonetheless remain enthralled by Gemma Doyle's latest adventure. In the first chapter, narrated by Kartik, the handsome Rakshana novitiate with whom Gemma flirted in the last book, members of his brotherhood give him a charge: to find the Temple within the realms, secure its power for the Rakshana and then kill Gemma. Gemma then narrates the balance of the novel, as classmates Felicity and Ann set forth to locate the Temple in order to bind up the realms' powers (unleashed when Gemma destroyed the runes at the close of the last book). However, they discover that the runes' destruction has set the magic in chaos; classmate Pippa (trapped in the realms in the last book) looks more beautiful than ever why did she not have "to cross"? Can she be trusted? Such questions of trust plague Gemma. What is Kartik's motive in signing on as her father's driver? Plus, a mysterious new teacher arrives who may or may not be Circe (whom Gemma blames for her mother's death), and Gemma's brother, who works at a mental hospital, leads the teen to a patient who may know how to locate the Temple. Gemma's and Ann's love interests, meanwhile, further mine the theme of Victorian class and society. Bray provides a satisfying ending, yet she implies a further struggle for power. Fans will want to stay tuned. Ages 12-up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Characters Spread Their Wings
Having very much loved the first book (A Great and Terrible Beauty) I was excited to learn of two more in the series. I greatly enjoyed this one. While it did not (and could not) produce the feeling of wonder that the first book did - because wonder comes with discovery and we already know by the second book much of what is at play - I do like how the characters progressed in this one. They are more fully formed and less cardboard cutouts of both who they thought they should be by the nature and constraints of their world, and maybe some less imaginative character building in the first book. Their new world lets them grow. This book is a solid follow-up to the first; hoping the final book is the capstone that brings it home strong.
Brilliant!!!! That's all I've got to say!