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“A Great and Terrible Beauty” by Libba Bray

Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty is a coming of age story about a young girl’s journey to find her place in the world.

Set in the late 1800’s in India and England, this novel is a thrilling tale of an ambitious and dynamic heroine full of secrets of a mysterious power that stems from its Victorian era setting.


A Great and Terrible Beauty follows the story of Gemma Doyle, a rebellious and headstrong young woman determined to make her own destiny against the expectations of her society.

When Gemma discovers a mysterious power that she may possess, her life becomes intertwined with a secret order of magical women.

With the help of her newfound friends, Gemma embarks upon a thrilling journey to discover the truth behind her powers and the deadly secrets it holds.

Along the way, the reader is carried along a rollercoaster of emotions as Gemma faces difficult choices and the realization of her inner courage.


The characters of A Great and Terrible Beauty are some of the most unique and diverse seen in YA fiction today. Gemma is a headstrong and ambitious young woman who thrives to make her own decisions.

Her three friends Pippa, Ann and Felicity are three very different characters that Gemma forms a strong bond with during her journey.

Each one has their own individual strengths and weaknesses that ultimately give Gemma the confidence to challenge the expectations of her society.

The antagonists of the story are also very well-developed and offer a gripping conflict for Gemma to battle as well as a unique insight into the world of the novel.

Writing Style

Libba Bray’s writing style is captivating and immersive. She expertly captures the era in which the story takes place, allowing the reader to become fully immersed in the dark and mysterious world of magic and secrets in the Victorian era.

The dialogue between the characters is well-crafted and very believable, with each having their own distinct voice. The romantic subplots are also tastefully written and add an extra layer of depth to the story.


A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray is an absorbing coming of age novel that brilliantly captures the power of a young woman’s courage and determination.

This thrilling journey is full of captivating characters, romantic subplots and a harrowing story that will keep readers enthralled till the end.

If you’re looking for an immersive and inspiring tale of a girl’s ambition and a power of mystery, then this is the book for you.

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