STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: March 12th, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: REALLY LIKED
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.
Having never heard of the Bluebeard fairytale, STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD was a real treat. It was one of those books with a vague synopsis on the back with a gorgeous cover, and I was all sorts of excited – because I love being surprised. Set in the blazing heat of the south, in a mansion way back in the era of slaves working endlessly in plantations, STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD was more than good – it was undeniably unique.
Jane Nickerson debuts with a work of historical young adult fiction that delivers. The plot was slow moving, allowing the surroundings and the characters to grow on me, slowly but surely giving life to a world within the pages. And just as slowly as the magic builds in Sophie’s world, the darkness unfolds – only faster.
I knew something was wrong when Sophie first sights on her new home, but I never imagined the extent of it. The horror of it.
Nevertheless, STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD had some truly beautiful moments. Moments where I felt sorrow for her godfather, where I felt dazzled by the beauty of the world he so-selflessly (or selfishly?) provided Sophie with. The dresses, the tales of lands far off, the rooms decorated with utmost creativity (there’s even one inspired by the ocean – complete with a sea-shell bed!) made Nickerson’s debut shine with a well-developed world I could clearly imagine.
And then there was Sophie. She was so easy to understand. She realized the dangers just as I did, she had the same curiosities that crossed my mind. And when the danger became evident to me, it became the same to her. What I loved most was Sophie’s sudden bravery and maturity of the last pages.
All in all, I am truly excited to see what happens in book two. STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD reads like a standalone, with a beautiful ending, so I guess I’m more curious than anything else!