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Denebola » Article » A Great and Terrible Beauty
Book Review

A Great and Terrible Beauty

By Denebola
Published: October 2007
By Abi OshinsTake your average Victorian boarding school story, gossipy clique book, Gothic mystery, and dark fantasy. Mix them together and you’ll end up with Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty.
The book features Gemma Doyle, age 16, from colonial India. After her mother’s mysterious death, she is sent to Spence Academy in England, a finishing school for girls with an out-of-bounds east-wing that was destroyed by a fire. As Gemma settles into the academy, she finds herself in the company of popular Felicity, bedazzling Pippa, and plain Ann. She also starts having strange visions in her dreams leading her to a whole new world called the realms. Gemma shares the realms with her new friends but is warned to ignore both the visions and the realms by a mysterious boy by the name of Kartik.
The girls soon find themselves entwined in magic, a society called the Order, and a mysterious diary written half a century ago. A Great and Terrible Beauty is well written, a fast read, and so suspenseful that I finished the whole thing in one night. If you’re looking for a good, suspense story, I highly recommend it and am totally truthful when I say that it’s a book everyone should read.

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