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.
It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea—and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy—Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right, but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette—but also in how to finish in other ways: the fine art of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.
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