A Great and Terrible Beauty

Libba Bray
A Great and Terrible Beauty Cover

A Great and Terrible Beauty


A Great and Terrible Beauty may be set against a Victorian finishing school backdrop, but it's nothing short of fantastic. There are so many magical elements that it completely shocked me. I expected a good 50% of the book to be about schooling and classes and etiquette that it was a genuine pleasure to have been thrown into the magic from the very beginning, and for the ordinary to have been so well balanced with the extraordinary. You couldn't, for a second, mistake this for a plain historical novel.

This book reminded me in parts of A Breath of Frost and The Raven Boys. It has all the splendour and captivity of period society, but with the limitless, raw possibility of magic - it reminded me so much of Cabeswater in parts. I honestly loved this book once it got fully into the realms and the danger of it. And don't even get me started on the feminism. I'm eager to read more of these books.

A Great and Terrible Beauty is a faultless blend of brilliant magic and Victorian reality. A shockingly well-crafted novel.