Published By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Year of Publication: 2005
Categories: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Summary (from goodreads.com): 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.
Review: I really enjoyed reading this book. In fact, I think I liked it better than the first one cause I knew more about the Realms. It was less explaining them and more about the story this time around.
I found myself liking Gemma more and more and disliking both Ann and Felicity. I think I’m drawn to Gemma because she feels like she’s different (well, she is different), and she’s trying to figure herself out and where she belongs in the world. Ann puts me off because she’s so self pitying, it just drives me crazy. And with Felicity, I’m not quite sure what it is, but I think there’s something more to her than what’s been revealed so far.
I wasn’t a very big fan of Thomas at the end of the first book, but I found myself liking him more and more throughout this book. I think I saw the more human side of him, instead of just how Gemma sees him.
Nell was such a tragic character in this book. She was doomed from the moment she was introduced to the reader. I really felt for her, and was glad the way things worked out for her in the end. I wont say anymore about her cause I don’t want to give anything away.
I thought the pacing was great, there weren’t any boring parts. I found the ball scenes a lot of fun to read about, with all the expectations of manners and etiquette. I love reading about cultures that are different from mine, and while it was weird to read about dance cards, I felt like I was right there.
I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for some fantasy and historical fiction. I already have the last book of the trilogy, The Sweet Far Thing, on hold at the library.
Disclosure: I got this book from the library.