Gemma Doyle just lost her mother in an unexplainable situation. Gemma foresees her mother’s death in a vision that becomes true only a few minutes later. With her mother gone, her father sends her to a boarding school in London. After having grown up in India, the boarding school is quite a change. It’s 1895 and The Spence academy prepares girls to be proper wives, who know their place. One night Gemma is led to a secret diary written by a Spence girl about 20 years earlier. She shares it with her friends and they become entranced by the stories of magic and the mystical order of women. They decide they’ll be the next “order” of women and attempt to enter this other realm. Then when Gemma discovers that she can enter this realm and see her mother there, she takes the other girls there. Each of them is enamored by the power they have in the realms. Gemma wants nothing more than to continue to spend time with her mother. Pippa enjoys the company of a handsome knight, while Ann becomes beautiful and Felicity becomes a huntress. Things get a little tricky when the girls try to take the magic out of the realms into the school. They may have inadvertently brought back dark spirits into the world. And when one of the girls’ lives is threatened, Gemma must find way to save her, if she can.
This one is difficult to describe in a paragraph, because there is so much depth and dimension to this book. There’s adventure, magic, mystery, and danger. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it and will be reading parts 2 and 3 soon. And did I mention the author is originally from Texas? (that always scores points with me).
More about the author, Libba Bray http://www.libbabray.com/
Her blog http://libba-bray.livejournal.com/
Part 2 and 3 of the trilogy: