Study Guide

A Great and Terrible Beauty Chapter 24

By Libba Bray

Chapter 24

  • The new Order play lawn tennis and Gemma is really bad at it. Oh well, we can't all be good at everything.
  • Turning over their racquets, the four head into the woods, where they ask Gemma if she will take them back to the realms tonight.
  • Yes, of course she will. 
  • At the lake, Kartik hangs out by the boathouse staring in Gemma's direction, but Pippa thinks he is looking at her, which really bugs Gemma—she just wants him to look at her.
  • Then Ann chimes in that Kartik's the boy Gemma kissed, which shocks Pippa, who now wants to know about their trip to see the Gypsies and why they didn't take her.
  • Felicity tells her all about it on their walk back to Spence, making Gemma's make out session look like martyrdom.
  • Later on in the realms, Gemma takes her friends to meet her mother, but they doubt her when no one is there—but finally her mom shows up and charms them all.
  • They chat away, and then discover they can do anything they wish in the realms, so Ann turns herself into a beauty with song.
  • Pippa creates a handsome knight that is already in love with her, then scampers off with him, while Felicity wishes for might and a naked woman walks out and shoots an arrow right by their heads—then she takes Felicity off with her to learn archery and become a hunter.
  • When all their fun winds down, Ann asks about the odd crystals that stand tall and Gemma's mother tells them they are called the Runes of the Oracle, and that they hold the magic—once they remake the real Order, they can learn to tap into the magic and take it into their world to use.
  • Everyone is pretty stoked about this idea, but Gemma's mother warns them not to touch the Runes yet—they must be trained and prepare first.
  • Felicity goes to get close, but when she does the humming that's been emanating from them fades away. 
  • Curious and in awe, Gemma moves close to the crystals too, and is overwhelmed by an urge to touch a crystal—but her mother snaps her out of it. Phew. 
  • There is an inscription carved into the runes that is older than Latin and Greek and says, "I change the world; the world changes me" (24.141).
  • All the girls go dance with Prince Charming but Gemma stays behind with her mom, who winces and says it is hard for her to keep the creature away—it is still looking for them.
  • The little girl peeks out again, and Gemma is super curious about who she is. 
  • Not wanting Gemma to miss out on all the fun, Felicity takes her to dance; they spin and spin like a blur.
  • Back in their rooms, they barely have any time to sleep before the next day's events—and there is a note for Gemma from Kartik, warning her to stop this now before he takes action.
  • She rips up the paper and tosses it out the window.