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Libba Bray has worked as a waitress, a nanny, a publishing assistant and as an advertising copywriter. Raised in Texas on a diet of British humour, underground bands, suburban dysfunction and bad TV, she now lives in New York with her husband and young son.
Gr 8 Up-At the end of A Great and Terrible Beauty (Delacorte, 2003), Gemma Doyle was determined to rebuild the Order and find and destroy Circe. Now the teen finds that she must do one more thing-find the Temple and bind the magic she released into the realms when she destroyed the runes. Her task will not be easy; Kartik and the Rakshana have their own plans, which threaten her; a mysterious new teacher may be Circe; and Christmas in London challenges the careful facades that Gemma and her friends Ann and Felicity have built. Dark things are stirring within the realms, including a possibly corrupted Pippa, and the only guides are Gemma's horrifying visions of three girls and the gibberish of a girl confined to Bedlam. Like the first volume, this is a remarkable fantasy steeped in Victorian sensibility; even as the girls fight to bind the magic, they are seduced by London society and the temptation to be "proper" young ladies. Gemma and her friends are pitch perfect as young women in a world poised for change, uncertain of their places. In many ways, this volume surpasses the first. The writing never falters, and the revelations (such as Felicity's childhood of abuse, discreetly revealed) only strengthen the characters. Clever foreshadowing abounds, and clues to the mystery of Circe may have readers thinking they have figured everything out; they will still be surprised. This volume does not stand alone; however, any collection that doesn't already have the first should just get both volumes.-Karyn N. Silverman, Elizabeth Irwin High School, New York City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"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," said PW, "fans of the author's first novel will nonetheless remain enthralled." Ages 12-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.