Etiquette and Espionage

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 a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger’s legions of fans have come to adore.

This book is all kinds of awesome. It reminds me very much of Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly, which you all know I love.

Set in probably one of the coolest boarding schools of all times (only bested by Hogwarts), it is a historic fiction novel, with a tinge of steampunk and paranormal, too. As soon as I started reading, I loved Sophronia. She seems like a normal teenage girl, nothing special, which is something I love in YA novels. Too commonly you read books with characters who are perfect, or have abnormal abilities. Sophronia, though, seems to be very normal. I also loved that there was no sort of romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself a good love story as much as the next person. But it was incredibly refreshing to read a book where there was no romantic aspect distracting from the plot itself.

I give Etiquette and Espionage 5 out of 5 stars.


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