While it is a challenge to curtsy like a lady, it is quite another feat to throw a knife like you mean to kill. Welcome to Finishing School.
Sophronia at age fourteen is a pest in the eyes of her mother. A tomboy more curious about the inner workings of a clock and the joys of climbing a tree than she is about etiquette at tea time, Sophronia is disappointing, and not just because of her horrid curtsy. Mrs. Teminnick, her mother, enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Surely this will turn Sophronia into the proper young lady she ought to be.
There is one catch to this whole finishing school business, and it lies in exactly the kind of finishing these girls were meant to complete. These excellent students do learn the skills of proper dance, dress and manners, but they also learn how to appropriately kill divert, deceive, spy, and handle a weapon against all foes.
Sophronia and her classmates are in for a wild first year, indeed.
Gail Carriger is the pseudonym for Tofa Borregaard. She is both archeologist and author of steampunk fiction. Her second novel Changeless placed her on the New York Times best seller list, as did her third novel Blameless. She credits the travel journals of the Victorian era as well as the writings of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and PG Wodehouse as influences on her style of prose and plotting.
"I really enjoyed this, it combines my love of steampunk/ victorian and harry potter/young adult series like novels. Yes its slightly trashy and with Carrigers's work I find that it does sometimes lull and become uninteresting and information heavy in places- Her description of places and people and objects can sometimes be a little boring, but all in all an imaginative, fun read with lots of guilty pleasure thrown in. Cant wait for the next one! I also love that she uses some young versions characters from her Soulless series- a nice touch for fans of the world Carriger has created."
Hayley (4 out of 5 stars)