Publisher: Random House
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Strands of Bronze and Gold #1
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.
I love fairytale retellings and it had been awhile since I read one so when my sister and I were chosen to be Ambuzzadors, I eagerly picked up Jane Nickerson's debut Strands of Bronze and Gold. I'm wasn't familiar with the fairytale Bluebeard that the novel is based on, so I began reading not knowing what to expect.
I have to admit that the beginning was slow for me. I felt like it dragged as the mystery was trying to build up, and if it was suppose to be there, I didn't feel the excitement. However, the plot eventually picked up when Sophia learned of some really shocking secrets and characteristics of Monsieur Bernard. After that, the novel piqued my interest and drove me to race to the very end.
I really loved the characters in this novel; they really surprised me. I'm quite naive, so maybe this was just me, but I never saw the hidden agendas of the various characters in the book. Some were just obvious than others--such as M. Bernard, with his scandalous history--but there was an element of surprise in each of the characters what made them so much more for me. And I especially liked Sophia. She grew a lot as a character, and she became a very strong and courageous heroine. I rooted for her all throughout the book.
Nickerson's writing style was just lovely. Her writing was very simple and straight forward, and her tone made the story sound as if it came right out of a child's storytelling book, even though the novel itself isn't for young children. Many of the fairytale retellings that I've read were set in a more contemporary time, written with a contemporary voice so I found the writing in Strands of Bronze and Gold refreshing.
I really enjoyed Strands and I'll definitely check out the companion books The Mirk and Midnight Hour and A Place of Stone and Shadow or other future books by Jane Nickerson. If you love fariytale retellings as much as I do and have an inclination toward the darker tales, then I recommend you read Strands of Bronze and Gold.