Nov 5, 2015

Review--Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

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.

So after a very, very long time, I finally read Gail Carriger's Curtsies & Conspiracies, the sequel to Etiquette & Espionage! We pick up right where we leave off for the most part, and that was already a bad sign for me! I read Etiquette & Espionage as an ARC way long ago, so it's been several years and several hundreds of books since then! Though I tried not to dwell on it much--but you know me--and just tried to read the story in the now.

Sophronia is doing well in school, very well in fact. She's at the top of her class, but sadly, this makes her an outsider among her other new student friends. She's shunned and ignored for quite some time. Her only friend is ten-year-old Vieve and of course, Soap. The school is taking a trip to London, and this is a big deal for the girls, for normally, they just go about their school days in the floating machine. But Sophronia starts to wonder why they're making this special trip. She's not buying what the teachers are saying.

Add to the fact, someone seems to be after her friends Dimity, and her brother Pillover. Why exactly, is just yet another mystery.

Despite a few memory issues that was on my part, I really enjoyed this one! I loved seeing some of the Parasol Protectorate gang in their early days. No Alexia, not that I am expecting that really! But a certain vampire from the original series makes an appearance and that had me all a tittle! LOL!

Sophronia also finds herself in quite the love predicament. She has garnered the attention of Felix, the boy she had left in the middle of a dance last go around. Felix is at the all boy school for training and teaching the fine young men to be evil geniuses. It's sort of a brother school to the girl's schools of spies! I rather enjoyed Sophronia and Felix's interactions! They were quite snarky with one another, but yet, you can see the feelings underlying their words. It was cute! But then there's Soap! The Sootie who works below the flying ship shoveling in coal to fuel it. Sophronia's constant visits have left him smitten. And yet, it seems poor Sophronia isn't up on the whole relationship thing or flirting, despite her classes. While she knows how to flirt, she doesn't seem to recognize when someone is truly flirting with her instead of pretending!

It's definitely going to lead to some interesting happenings in the next two books I need to read! While things were wrapped up here, I have yet to really see the big picture of what's going on. I know there's something, perhaps waiting so long to continue with this series has left me totally out of sync with things. I can only hope that by binge reading the next two will give me that clarity I am seeking. Regardless, I did really enjoy this one! I love seeing the quirky humor with this younger set of characters that inhabit Alexia's world, just a few odd years earlier! This is definitely only the beginning of the enjoyment!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars


  1. I adore this series so much. It gets better and better. I can't wait for you to keep reading. I just love the world. The school and the larger conflict. I haven't read the Parasol Protectorate yet but I want to. I'm excited to see some characters again. Great review.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  2. Woot! Glad you enjoyed. I've eye balled this series for awhile.


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