My sister bought me the first installment of “A Great And Terrible Beauty” trilogy for my birthday in 2008. The book was highly recommended to her and though she didn’t have time to read it then, she figured she’d pass it along to myself, another avid reader. I fell in love with the book instantly, sharing it with everyone I knew. “A Great And Terrible Beauty” trilogy by Libba Bray is definitely worth reading in my opinion.
1. Victorian England
The story is of daily life in Victorian England, specifically at an all-girls boarding school. I personally love reading historical fiction because it highlights different time periods and brings them to life. “A Great And Terrible Beauty” trilogy talks about women’s clothing, status, responsibilities and even menstruation during that time. If you want to enter the world of Victorian England than this book is for you!
Although the book has its historical facets, I really admire the modern elements of it, such as the use of magic to explore other realms. Gemma Doyle travels with a few school chums to another realm, a world that only members of The Order can enter. Gemma’s mother attended the school and was part of The Order, giving her the same power that she had to travel between the realms. It’s cool to see the magical side of things and the school in England intertwined so beautifully.
We all want to escape from reality at some point or another in our lives. Some turn to drugs or denial but Gemma runs away with friends into the realms which mixes up her mundane, daily life. “How I’d love to get away from here and be someone else for a while in a place where no one knows or expects certain things from me.” Can you relate to that? I know I can! Reading is a great way to escape your worries and let your imagination come to life. Run away with Gemma and see where her story takes you.
“A Great And Terrible Beauty” series deals with friendships amongst the girls at Spence Academy for Young Ladies. As the story unfolds, Gemma travels with her friends into the realms which brings them closer. You can see from their adventures and story how that friendship unravels towards the end of the story when their dreams of being in the realms becomes stronger.
Like to read romance? Enter Kartik! Kartik is part of a secret male order known as the Rakshana which has fought to prevent The Order from entering into the realms. He first appears to Gemma as a warning to not enter into the other world but she doesn’t heed his advice. As their story gets more complex and connected, a romance begins to bud between the two.
“May I suggest that you all read? And often. Believe me, it’s nice to have something to talk about other than the weather and the Queen’s health. Your mind is not a cage. It’s a garden. And it requires cultivating.” I love this excerpt from “A Great And Terrible Beauty.” It inspires me to start learning and to view my thoughts as the garden my dreams. You may even be inspired yourself reading this book. Whether it inspires you to keep reading or branch out and explore other areas of interest, you should cultivate your mind.
7. Our Stories
We all have stories, unique and incredible in their own way. I find it refreshing to read Gemma’s story because her’s isn’t one of fluff and fun. She fights against society, herself and in a magical realm. She’s courageous and inventive.
“A Great And Terrible Beauty” is a great series that I have recommended ever since I first read it so many years ago. What is your favorite part of the story? Which book did you like the most?