Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Series: Strands of Bronze and Gold #1
Pages: 352
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: March 12, 2013
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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

My Review:

This is one of the greatest retellings I have read, what really sold me on this book in the beginning is that Jane Nickerson decided to go with such a dark tale, instead of the fairy tales that we've been seeing a lot of lately. I really loved the writing style of this story, Nickerson described each scene perfectly really bringing readers into the world that was created. For a debut author this story was beautifully crafted with a great setting and amazing characters.

What really had my attention was how Nickerson brought de Cressac's character to life. She created a very interesting villain in de Cressac. As I continued through this story I could see how Sophia would get caught up in her attraction for this man, but slowly he unravels and the story starts giving you goosebumps as you can see what will happen. I really loved how creepy Nickerson made this book, really bringing out things at unexpected moments.

I found that the characters are really what drove this book forward (but the plot was just as amazing). Sophia really grew into herself over the course of the novel, she starts out as a shy girl who doesn't really know the ways of life and slowly grows to understand what is happening around her and trying to help those in need. But I really appreciated her for her love of family, she does what she believes is the best thing to help her family out of their troubles and I loved her all the more for thinking more about others than herself.

I thought it was interesting to see where Nickerson set her novel as well, taking place at the beginning of the time of the Underground Railroad, and bringing in the subject of slavery and the difference between the views of the North and South. I found it really added to the tone of the novel and added something to Sophia's character.

This was such an amazing debut book, I hope everyone goes out to buy it soon. The pacing of this book is so well done, everything happens in it's own time and is slowly revealed little by little. I just loved every little bit of this story and all the characters and can't wait to share this book with more people.


  1. Okay, I'm picking up this book for sure :) I'm so excited for it! I'm also glad she picked such a dark story, because to me that's what a lot of GOOD fairytales are - incredibly dark and creepy!

    I think it's an interesting pick for a setting too, and I can't wait to see how she handles it by reading the book.

  2. Fantastic review! You definitely convinced me that I need to read this book. I have had a hard time with retellings in the past and I'm glad to hear this one didn't disappoint.

  3. I've been waiting for this review! Fantastic review - you've got me picking this up next Chapters trip!

  4. So happy you enjoyed this one as well. And I agree - the addition of the Underground Railway stuff made it extra interesting.

  5. Wow what a recommendation! This book sounds amazing, the perfect mix of darkness, mystery and strong characters. I loved this review Andrea! I wonder if it is still on Netgalley? ;)

  6. I'm so glad I read your review. I've been dying to read this book, but then the first review I read was scathing and I wasn't sure what to do. I'm so relieved to see your review and bring back some balance! I'm definitely keeping an eye out for this now at my library. Thank you!

  7. I've been wanting to pick this up, and I'll definitely have to soon :) I'm so happy it's just as good as it looks. I usually love books with great characters and the pacing sounds perfect. Amazing review!



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