I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Also by this author: Etiquette & Espionage, Waistcoats & Weaponry
Series: Finishing School #2
Also in this series: Etiquette & Espionage, Waistcoats & Weaponry
on November 5th 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Robots, Action & Adventure, General, Historical, Social Issues, Manners & Etiquette, Girls & Women, Steampunk
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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 bestselling 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.
Binge reading a series is pretty much my favorite. Within the span of about a week or so, I consumed Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series. The second book, Curtsies & Conspiracies is just as delightful as the first book – Etiquette & Espionage. This is a series about a capable young woman named Sophronia who has been covertly recruited to attend a finishing school for intelligencers – although on the surface and to her parents the finishing school, Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, is your typical run of the mill school made to train young ladies to be prepared for polite society.
Curtsies & Conspiracies begins with Sophronia’s second year of finishing school. Her sister had just had her coming out ball which was quite intense but the talk of the town. This book opens up with a test which Sophronia aces and all of the other girls do not do quite as well. This creates a rift between Sophronia, Dimity, Sidheag, and Agatha. Monique is still with the lower girls as well and she takes to being BFFs with Preshea. Anyways, the dirigible that the school is on is bound for a new journey – to London. They also have taken on visitors – boys from the evil genius school.
Meanwhile, it is announced that Monique is finally to have her coming out ball in London and all of the girls at the finishing school want to go – except for Sophronia because she isn’t a team Monique fan. At this same time, there is intrigue surrounding why the dirigible is going to London as well as some technology that has been invented for aether crossing and who exactly is in charge of this technology. So, in all, this book comprised of chapters called ‘tests’ is quite the continuing adventure for Sophronia and the girls.
Sophronia continues to be such a fun main character to follow. She’s the leader of her group of girls. So, I thought that Carriger provides an interesting dynamic for Sophronia in Curtsies & Conspiracies because her girls are all seemingly against her. Seeing Sophronia deal with changing allegiances is quite the treat. Also? Seeing her negotiate with a fortune teller is a lot of fun too. I am a huge fan of her character and of the various escapades she gets up to – including one very big one during Monique’s coming out party.
As for the world building in Carriger’s Finishing School series, we learn a lot more about the vampires in Curtsies & Conspiracies. We learn about which ones are super powerful. We learn about drones. We learn about vampire hives. We even learn about the impact that the aether has on a vampire and what can happen when a vampire tether breaks (hint: nothing good). Furthermore, there are dandies and stylish supernatural creatures. In addition, we see why the Picklemen are so anti-supernatural. If you want some questions answered about Carriger’s steampunk reimagining of Regency Era England, you’ve come to the right young adult book is what I am saying here.
Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger is a quick read. It is a fun addition to a breezy series. These books do skew a bit younger, as there is no swearing or even romance in the form of trysts or kisses or crushes. There are hints at a love triangle between Sophronia and Soap and Lord Mersey, however, nothing comes to fruition in this book. Rather, the first two books in this series may as well be described as the madcap adventures of a young intelligencer amid supernatural creatures. It’s actually a perfect series for the Halloween season.