Eff is riding west, away from the safety of the frontier city she's always known.... Eff could be a powerful magician if she wanted to. Except she's not sure she wants that kind of responsibility. Everyone keeps waiting for her to do something amazing - or to fail in a spectacular way. Worse, her twin brother, Lan, a powerful double seventh son, is jealous of all the attention she's been getting. Even as Eff protests that she's just an ordinary girl, she's asked to travel past the Barrier Spell with one of the new professors at her father's school. The land west of the Barrier is full of dangers, both magical and wild. Eff will need to use all her strength - magical and otherwise - to come safely back home.
With wit, magic, and a touch of good pioneer sense, Patricia C. Wrede once again weaves a fantastic tale of the very wild west.
©2012 Patricia C. Wrede (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I have now read all three books in this trilogy and I sincerely hope that Wrede's readers will convince her to turn this into a series. I can see plenty of paths she could take towards turning out more books about this interesting young woman.
Over the arc of the trilogy, I really enjoyed the unfolding of her personality, from a disregarded and dismissed child to struggling adolescence to blossoming young woman. I don't want to provide spoilers, but I find that while Lan is an admirable and deserving young man, Eff is by far the more creative and interesting character.
I enjoyed the interplay between events in our history and how they differ in Eff's. And I really enjoyed learning that both Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were seventh sons of seventh sons. (We should have guessed.) 8-)
I kept thinking during the first book in this trilogy that she kept hanging revolvers on walls and then not shooting them (see Wikipedia article, "Chekhov's Gun") It was revealing in this book to see all those guns being taken down and used. Clearly, this entire series was mapped out before she completed the first one.
To sum up: Don't start with this book. Read them in their proper order: "Thirteenth Child", then "Across the Great Barrier", and then this one.
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