Curtsies and Conspiracies

Curtsies & Conspiracies Book Cover Curtsies & Conspiracies
Finishing School, Book 2
Gail Carriger
Juvenile Fiction
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
2013-11-05
320

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests? Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy--won't Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners. Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card. In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail's distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

 

Review:

As with its predecessor, “Curtsies and Conspiracies” is about the life of Sophronia in a unique finishing school for espionage in Victorian England.  It continues the Finishing School series in a way that leaves the reader looking for more.

“Curtsies and Conspiracies” is a wonderfully written adventure full of imagination and all of the wonderful imagery found in the best of steampunk novels.  The characters are well-developed and relatable in spite of being set in an entirely different period of history.  The one drawback is that while there is mystery, it is definitely setting the plot and character for advancement in the next book in the series.  That provides a little less spark of the first one, but is necessary to further the character development.

The attention to the details of fashion and speech from Victorian England are so vivid that the novel also serves as a history lesson of sorts.  The tongue-in-cheek humor about how things were done is delightful and shows how much society has changed over time.  The strong female protagonist sets a good example, and this series remains an excellent introduction to steampunk that can be enjoyed by middle readers, as well as those far beyond the age of a finishing school student.

I highly recommend “Curtsies and Conspiracies”, with a word of caution that the language of the period may be a turn off for more reluctant readers.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Content Warning:

Violence, Brief and Mild Sexual Situations

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