Review #25

Title- A Great and Terrible Beauty

Rating– 4/5

Genre- YA Fantasy (unexpected from cover)

POV- First person, present

Similar Books/Comps– Elementals

My emotions-  not expecting this genre from the cover

Vibe– It felt a bit high school-gothic


Gemma- 16 years old with anunknown magical powers


After the death of her mother, Gemma is shipped off from the life she knows in India to a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one.

To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

Best part-

I loved the caves scenes in this unexpected mix of historical fiction, YA, & fantasy. I also loved the theme of the main character “searching” for the mother connection, which felt similar to my debut novel, Break the Stone.

What I’d change-

Sometimes I was a bit bored with the popular VS not popular theme and bullying pattern. Also, the supernatural powers could’ve been taken advantage of more than the capacity it was used for. It seemed like the other realms stayed at a superficial level instead of immersive.


Overall, this was a fast, flowing, fun read with an unexpected edge that I didn’t think would be there and so glad for that.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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