It took me forever to read this book, because I simply did not want to have to finish it and know I was done with this fantastically written, heart-wrenching, genuine trilogy. For a story about the mystical Realms, it is also one of Gemma Doyle's growing self-awareness. And while the main plot line was that of finding a balance of power for the magic that runs rampantly through the realms and possibly through our world, too... I found the secondary plot even more fascinating than the first.
From the start, I loved Gemma - and sympathized with her. She's seen too much to be a normal girl, and wouldn't be satisfied with a life of teas and balls and having no opinion, but in this, the third book, she finally comes to accept herself for who she is: a different kind of girl, meant for something more than a life spent struggling to breathe around the corset that binds her.
Gemma's struggle for independence captivated me, because I could identify with her. And just as interesting was her burgeoning awareness of the truths of her friends, Ann, and Felicity, and their own personal demons. Ann begins to emerge from her shell, to embrace the possibility that she can determine the course of her own life, while Felicity whole-heartedly embraces who she is, deciding to live her life on her own terms, without compromise. Together, these three girls and those who they call allies will shape the future.
All in all, a brilliantly told story that left me with a fuller heart and teary eyes.