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Publisher's Summary

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Patricia C. Wrede, the fantastic conclusion to her tale of magic on the western frontier.

Eff is an unlucky 13th child...but also the seventh daughter in her family. Her twin brother, Lan, is a powerful double seventh son. Her life at the edge of the Great Barrier Spell is different from anyone else's that she knows.

When the government forms an expedition to map the Far West, Eff has the opportunity to travel farther than anyone in the world. With Lan, William, Professor Torgeson, Wash, and Professor Ochiba, Eff finds that nothing on the wild frontier is as they expected. There are strange findings in their research, a long prarie winter spent in too-close quarters, and more new species, magical and otherwise, dangerous and benign, than they ever expected to find. And then spring comes, and the explorers realize how tenuous life near the Great Barrier Spell may be if they don't find a way to stop a magical flood in a hurry. Eff's unique way of viewing magic has saved the settlers time and again, but this time all of Columbia is at stake if she should fail.

©2012 Patricia C. Wrede (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I hope this is a series and not just a trilogy.

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Marcus
  • SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States
  • 08-20-14

A Mostly Satisfying Conclusion

If you've listened to the first 2 books in this series, then you won't be too surprised by this one.

As usual, the story plods along, with remarkable scenes littered amongst the pretty mundane. Oddly though, it's enjoyable. You never feel like you're rushing anywhere; you're just along for the ride, taking in Eff's daily life as we meander to the end game. It's a bit similar to some of the earlier Harry Potter books in that way.

The downside of this type of story telling (aside from it being slow, which can be a pain if you're not enjoying taking it all in), is that there is much discussed and revealed during the story (indeed, the entire series) that never gets resolved.

In most stories, most of what you hear about is fairly important. In these types of stories though, you hear about so much that it can be hard to figure out just what's important and what is just a tidbit. Sadly, many of those tidbits that seem to be going somewhere never do, and you're left to fill in the blanks in your mind. A shame for such a wonderfully-crafted universe.

Overall however, I enjoyed it. For the shippers, Eff finally "settles down" in this book, and thankfully those parts of the story aren't mushy or annoying. In fact, it doesn't interfere with the story at all; it adds to it.

I'd hoped this wasn't the end, but given that there's an epilogue, I guess it is. Great series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Frontier Magic Series is an incredible set!

Where does The Far West rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This series is easy to read and totally captivating. Patricia's ability to create a world that is both magical and familiar makes her one of my very favorite writers.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Eff (of course) is my favorite character because of her mild mannerism as well as her sarcastic wit.

What about Amanda Ronconi’s performance did you like?

Amanda Ronconi's performance quickly draw's the listener into the plot.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I was hooked from the very beginning of the first book and wanted to listen to them all immediately

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Reads like a travel log.

I really like this author, but aside from the first book this series has been a bust. There are a lot of great characters and the world the author has created is fascinating. However, the plot reads like a very boring travel log with lots of unimportant details included. There is also a lot of repetition. I understand that on an expedition there might be a lot of arguing, but the arguments are always presented the same way. The whole book was tedious to listen to. I do not recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Satisfying Conclusion

Patricia Wrede's storytelling is unhurried yet sets a good enough pace that makes you want to keep going.
She also imbues her characters and the setting with an integrity that remains consistent through all three books.

The series has been compared to "Little House on the Prairie", and I agree - in all the good ways.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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love this series.

so fun. a great real female protagonist, terrific narration, and a compelling story. well worth a listen for grown-ups and kids!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Patricia Wrede is always just plain fun!

This is the third in the series and wrapped it all up brilliantly. Since each book is short, I listened straight through, and I did get tired of all the recap at the beginning of each new novel, but it does mean you don't have to start with the first. Though I'd highly recommend doing them in order.

Amanda Ronconi did a good job of narrating. I thought she slightly overdid the accents, however. I got very tired of that folksy, frontier accent and with the Scandinavian accent of the Vinland professor. On the other hand, I thought she did great with Wash's southern drawl.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Harry Potter meets Little House on the Prairie

If you love Harry Potter or the Little House books you will love this series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyed all 3 books

I enjoyed all 3 books and the narrator was super. I would recommend this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!

This is the best book that I have read/listened to! The series overall is amazing and the books gradually get better. I love the creativity! It's about magic and magicians and stuff but doesn't even remotely reminds me of Harry Potter. I just wish there was more books in the series. And the ending quotes was a great story ender and it sums up my feelings about the book! 12/10!

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  • susan
  • 08-04-15

Like nothing else

I've never read another book in this 'genre' (alternate magic version of America in frontier times) which in itself makes the book interesting. It is well written & an amazing, fully formed alternate history with interesting characters & a fun concept. It can sometimes get a little confusing working out what places are supposed to be in our world when everywhere has a different name but that's a tiny niggle like the fact that the series felt like it had been written as one long book & then hacked into chunks so it would sell, doesn't ruin the story at all, it just broke the spell a little bit.
My only real niggle was the main character (a girl) felt a tiny bit wet to me, but I like my female leads to be shooting of bullets in one direction & witty retorts in the other.

I would whole heartedly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys fantasy, alternative histories, stories of the frontier &/or exploration books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Readalot
  • 02-17-17

My Favourite Installment

What did you like most about The Far West?

It made a wonderful ending to Eff's story.

What did you like best about this story?

See above.

Which character – as performed by Amanda Ronconi – was your favourite?

I'm still fond of Eff and Professor Ochiba... and Wash is always fun.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but it made me smile. I don't want to cry. I like entertaining books. I hate being manipulated into being sad.

Any additional comments?

I was expecting something different from one of the characters, but it didn't eventuate. That didn't matter, I just got my forecast wrong.

By the way, I have read reviews of this series that suggest the author has done something wrong by excluding humans from the far west. I don't agree in the least. This is Columbia, (Colombia? have to read the book to see the spelling) and not the US, and this is Patricia Wrede's vision of her alternate world. A world that includes mammoth, silverhooves and steam dragons quite clearly is NOT our world. If she had included people already living in the west, then they would have been the focus of the story rather than the animals. Also, the point of the expedition is that they are going where humans have not gone. To have native Columbians would have made this pretty well impossible.