9780440237778

The Sweet Far Thing

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780440237778

  • ISBN10:

    0440237777

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-04-28
  • Publisher: Ember
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $12.99 Save up to $1.95
  • Buy New
    $11.04

    IN STOCK USUALLY SHIPS IN 24-48 HOURS

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Summary

*"A huge work of massive ambition."Publishers Weekly, Starred It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father alaudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds. The Orderthe mysterious group her mother was once part ofis grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for. APublishers WeeklyBest Book of the Year A #1 Book Sense Bestseller ANew York TimesBestseller APublishers WeeklyBestseller AUSA TodayBestseller A 2008 New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

Author Biography

Libba Bray is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, son, and a cat of questionable intelligence.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts

CHAPTER ONE
March 1896
SPENCE ACADEMY FOR YOUNG LADIES


There is a particular circle of hell not mentioned in Dante's famous book. It is called comportment, and it exists in schools for young ladies across the empire. I do not know how it feels to be thrown into a lake of fire. I am sure it isn't pleasant. But I can say with all certainty that walking the length of a ballroom with a book upon one's head and a backboard strapped to one's back while imprisoned in a tight corset, layers of petticoats, and shoes that pinch is a form of torture even Mr. Alighieri would find too hideous to document in his Inferno.

"Let us keep our eyes trained toward heaven, girls," our headmistress, Mrs. Nightwing, pleads as we attempt our slow march across the floor, heads held high, arms out like ballerinas.

The loops of the backboard chafe the sides of my arms. The block of wood is unyielding, and I am forced to stand as stiff as the guards at Buckingham Palace. My neck aches with the effort. Come May, I shall make my debut a full year early, for it has been decided by all parties involved that at nearly seventeen I am ready and that it would do me good to have my season now. I shall wear beautiful gowns, attend lavish parties, and dance with handsome gentlemen--if I survive my training. At present, that outcome is very much in doubt.

Mrs. Nightwing paces the length of the ballroom. Her stiff skirts whisk-whisk across the floor as if to rebuke it for lying there. All the while she barks orders like Admiral Nelson himself. "Heads held high!
Do not smile, Miss Hawthorne! Serene, somber expressions! Empty your minds!"

I strain to keep my face a blank canvas. My spine aches. My left arm, held out to the side for what seems hours, trembles with the effort.

"And curtsy . . ."

Like falling souffles, we drop low, trying desperately not to lose our balance. Mrs. Nightwing does not give the order to rise. My legs shake with exhaustion. I cannot manage it. I stumble forward. The book tumbles from my head and lands on the floor with a resounding thud. We have done this four times, and four times I have failed in some fashion. Mrs. Nightwing's boots stop inches from my disgraced form.

"Miss Doyle, may I remind you that this is the court, and you are curtsying to your sovereign, not performing in the Folies Bergere?"

"Yes, Mrs. Nightwing," I say sheepishly.

It is hopeless. I shall never curtsy without falling. I shall lie sprawled upon the gleaming floors of Buckingham Palace like a disgraceful stain of a girl, my nose resting upon the boot of the Queen. I shall be the talk of the season, whispered about behind open fans. No doubt every man will avoid me like typhus.

"Miss Temple, perhaps you will demonstrate the proper curtsy for us?"

Without ado, Cecily Temple, She Who Can Do No Wrong, settles to the floor in a long, slow, graceful arc that seems to defy gravity. It is a thing of beauty. I am hideously jealous.

"Thank you, Miss Temple."

Yes, thank you, you little demon beast. May you marry a man who eats garlic with every meal.

"Now, let us--" Mrs. Nightwing is interrupted by loud banging. She closes her eyes tightly against the noise.

"Mrs. Nightwing," Elizabeth whines. "How can we possibly concentrate on our form with such a terrible racket coming from the East Wing?"

Mrs. Nightwing is in no humor for our complaining. She takes a deep breath and clasps her hands at her waist, her head held high.

"We shall carry on, like England herself. If she could withstand Cromwell, the Wars of the Roses, and the French, surely you may overlook a bit of hammering. Think how lovely the East Wing shall be
when it is completed. We shall try again--steady! All eyes are upon you! It won't do to scurry to
Her Majesty like a timid

Excerpted from The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Rewards Program

Write a Review