Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold


Author: Jane Nickerson
Pages: 339 pages
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Random House
Received From: my public library
Status: Hardcover, standalone 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.


Strands of Bronze and Gold is my first historical of 2014. It was mysterious, thrilling, and exciting. This book was an amazing retelling of Bluebeard.

Sophia goes to live with her godfather in Mississippi after her father's death to avoid a life of poverty like her older siblings. There, she finds a lavish moor and an even more lavish godfather. She's excited, terrified, awed and mystified by this new world. But once the initial shock disappears, she learns that life at the Abbey isn't what she'd thought it'd be.

I really loved this story and loved how it was laid out. I know the story of Bluebeard, and I thought that this was going to be another retelling of another Grimm's fairy tale where the love story will be totally outshine the actual story. But no, this story really was true to the actual fairy tale (with a few modifications here and there), and it was awesome.

I loved the character development that Sophia has, and I found that the Count was very manipulative and emotionally abusing. Which is good, because he's supposed to be like that. He draws her in, and slowly reveals his true self to her, and I'm glad that she quickly realizes that he's no good for her. She does her best to get out, but then relents to stay for her family. But she's able to break free and show she's a badass character.

Another thing that I liked about this story was the happy ending for the two black slaves, Charles and Thalia. That made me happy. And Reverend Stone was also a good character, although I found it strange that a Reverend would be hanging from a tree (on his free will). 

Overall, this book was amazing, but I felt that in some places it dragged. But if you love historical YA, this is a good story for you!

3.5 out of 5 stars
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