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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

In the flurry of amazing books and review obligations, I didn't have a chance to chat about the second Finishing School book CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES but I love Gail Carriger's writing too much not to talk about the penultimate book in the series, WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY. If you're not familiar with the series, check out my review of the first book, ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE, which will give you an idea of the series.

In WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY, Sophronia is slightly more experienced but still in training at Mlle Geraldine's school, learning how to be an intelligencer of the highest order. I really enjoy the lessons that Sophronia receives, and the school in general, as it is so magnificently twee. This year's lessons include how to fight with a fan, which leads to a truly comical scene. But the heart of the books aren't the lessons - the heart is Sophronia and her friendships and personal growth. She's a delightfully protagonist and she becomes more confident and also more aware of her abilities and shortcomings with each page in the series and it's a pleasure to watch her grow.

Although we see growth and change in some areas, Sophronia is still very much the strong-minded girl that she was from the start of ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE, rebelling against the rules and forging her own path. She's maintained her close relationship with Soap, the sootie who works below stairs (insofar as a zeppelin can have a below stairs), despite the scandalous difference in their stations and the fact that he's black, but she's also formed a tight knit group of friends who are staunchly on her side, no matter what the danger. Dimity, Sidheag, and Agatha are such wonderful characters and the four girls form a marvellous band of opposites. Sophronia's ability and willingness to fly in the face of convention imbues all aspects of her life but it's most apparent in the fact that she treasures her friendships with people she "shouldn't" be friends with, and is willing to go to some lengths to keep these friendships, even when they take turns that make things a bit awkward, such as Soap's more overt romantic intentions. (Romance is not the main focus of the series but there are some romantic tensions, which are quite enjoyable since it's about the only thing that flusters Sophronia.)

WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY also advances a lot of the series plot threads, which is really exciting. We get some ideas about where Sophronia might end up after she graduates, and also see the true colours of some of the men/boys in her life. It was great to see all these developments, and I'm quite excited about where Sophronia will end up when the series draws to a close.

Read an excerpt


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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3 People left their mark' :

  1. This is so good to know! I have the first two books on my Kindle, but haven't had a chance to read them yet. Thanks for nudging me to move them to the top of my list. They've been in my pile for way too long. :-)

  2. Glad you enjoyed this series too Jenn! I really love Gail's writing. And this book made me re-read the Alexia books ...

  3. I read the first book recently, they are just so much fun.