Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze and Gold
by Jane Nickerson

Genre: YA Fantasy / Romance / Fairytale Re-telling / Horror

Ages: 14 and up

I received an ARC of this book from Random Buzzers as part of their Ambuzzador program in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Note: I shared an interview with the heroine, Sophie Petheram, here.


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 Thoughts:

This book is utterly bewitching. The author weaves a tapestry of magic and madness that is irresistible. Reading this book, I came to really admire her subtlety. Very little actually happens during the first third of the book, yet I was never bored and I kept getting this shivery sense of anticipation that something awful was drawing near.

The story starts with Sophie. She's a trusting girl, full of excitement about going to live with her mysterious godfather. When she first arrives, it is like she has entered a magical world full of delightful things. She's just a little spoiled, but in such an innocent, young way that you can't hold it against her. Sophie is also a girl of firm opinions, and even her godfather's best efforts can't get her to fully compromise her beliefs.

Into this sparkling house of wonder and beauty creep dark little shadows, slowly stripping away the glamour and leaving only unvarnished truth behind. And the truth is scary as heck. I mean, really. The story goes straight into the realm of horror, gluing your eyes to the page and removing any chance of sleeping when you're done. This book was amazing, but not for the faint of heart.

I would recommend this book for lovers of Gothic romance, horror and dark fairytales. If you're looking for an easy happily-ever-after, this is not the book for you.

Rating System: Profanity, Sexuality and Violence
1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).

I give it a 1.10 for some swearing, though no actual swearwords were used.

I give it a 4.10 for several references, an attempted rape and references to past rape.

I rate it a 6.10 for murder, attempted rape and other scenes of assorted violence as well as some gruesomeness.

                             Lieder Madchen


  1. I have wanted to read this book since I first heard about it. It sounds so interesting and since I never read the Bluebeard fairytale it's all new to me. I'm a big fan of the darker fairytales, that are a little more eerie and this definitely looks like a book for me. I'm glad you liked it and it makes me even more excited to read it. Thanks for the review :)

  2. I'm currently listening to this one on audio. I kind of wish I'd read it, because the narrator sometimes has an annoying way of drawing out the 's' in words. But, it is creepy for sure. Sometimes a bit too slow for my taste, though.

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