Sunday, June 9, 2013

Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze and Gold (Strands of Bronze and Gold, #1) 
 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.

Description taken from Goodreads

My Review

I don’t even know where to start with this book.   I have never heard of the Bluebeard fairytale before and I have to say that when I saw Strands of Bronze and Gold in the bookstore, the cover was what really attracted me to the book.  I never really got around to reading it and I was so happy when I heard Bookworms' Avenue was looking for Guest Reviewers and that this was one of the books that I could choose from.

So, I went into this book with absolutely no knowledge of what it was really about except from the blurb that I read on Goodreads.

Right off the bat, I knew something was off.  I was getting a really bad feeling from Monsieur de Cressac.  My alarm bells were ringing, telling Sophie to get out of that house.  But, of course, she didn’t listen to me.

Monsieur Bernard, as Sophie calls him, is one complex fellow.  I swear that he is bipolar or has multiple personality disorder or something.   There is something wrong with him.  One minute he is fine, showering Sophie in treasures and making sure that she has everything she wants.  The next he is ordering her what to wear or how to keep her hair.  It’s like watching something horrible on TV, wanting to look away but you just can’t seem to do it.  It does get to the point where it is terribly disturbing.  You have to realize that Sophie is only seventeen and that M. Bernard was one of her fathers’ friends.  So he’s probably in his forties.

I really did like Sophie, but she was just so naïve.  I understand that it’s mostly the time period that the novel is set in but throughout most of the book I couldn’t help but shake my head thinking, “You have GOT to be smarter than this!”  She would question things that weren’t quite right revolving around M. Bernard but she would quickly dismiss them because M. Bernard is just that charming.  He makes you believe everything he tells you whether or not you truly believe it’s right or not.  

Strands of Bronze and Gold had me so frustrated, but in a good way, of course.  Right when you think things are going to turn around for Sophie, everything comes crashing down and she has to start all over again.  It was exhausting to be honest.  These were my emotions throughout the book.

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I still don’t know how to feel after finishing this novel.  I really don’t.

Anyway, I digress.

The writing in Strands of Bronze and Gold is magnificent.  The author, Jane Nickerson, did a superb job bringing her readers right into the nineteenth century.  Every detail that was described made me feel like I was right there and it was wonderful.  The language and the way things were worded were absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.  The descriptions of the clothing made me want to be from this time period, even though I can’t stand wearing dresses.  It was just THAT good.

The character development is also astounding.  Sophie starts out as a little girl who is thrilled by the simplest things.  Pretty new dresses, her bedroom and everything that occupies it.  By the end of the novel, she still is a bit naïve but she has turned into a young woman who is trying to fight for her family’s well being, her own life as well as her freedom.  It’s a great transformation.

Even though I had little to no knowledge of this fairytale, I still enjoyed it.  Was it my favorite read of all time?  Absolutely not, but it kept me entertained and held my curiosity enough to finish it.  Be warned though, it does start off very slow but the end is definitely worth it.

3.5 out of 5 hearts

My review will be featured on Bookworms' Avenue sometime in the near future.  So keep an eye out for that and while you're over there you should follow her blog!  It's the nice thing to do, really.

1 comment:

  1. Posted your review on my blog just a minute ago! Aww, you're so sweet. Thanks :3