Author: Jane Nickerson
Series: Strands of Bronze and Gold, book #1
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Source: from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
I was initially drawn to Strands of Bronze and Gold because of that gorgeous cover, but I also love fairy tales as much as the next girl. Truth be told, I'd never actually heard of the Bluebeard fairy tale until I discovered this book. Much like my experience with Entwined, I went into Strands with few expectations. My only hope was that it would be sufficiently creepy.
Alas, the end result was not quite what I had been hoping for. The pacing of this novel was quite slow. I was reading with a buddy, and we kept asking, "When is something going to happen?" True, the lack of action does add to the suspense, but there is absolutely no mystery to this story. It is what it sets out to be, but there is never any question that things are amiss at Wyndriven Abbey and Sophie should escape before she is well and truly in danger.
But that Sophie...she's not the sharpest crayon in the box. Okay, that's not entirely true. She is somewhat clever, but her naïveté only lends itself to inaction, making her one of the most frustrating heroines I've ever suffered through. The rest of the characters weren't much to write home about either, with the exception of the enigmatic Monsieur de Cressac. I wish the story had been told from his point-of-view...I really think it would have been much more interesting and a hundred times more fun to read. (Someone should consider that...rewriting all the old fairy tales from the villain's point-of-view. Unless, of course, that's already been done. In which case, I need recs.)
As it stands, I enjoyed the story well enough, especially not knowing what to expect from the ending. Though being a fairy tale retelling, I should have had some inclination toward the outcome, I suppose. Unfortunately, I had discussed the original story with a friend beforehand and did expect more gore and creepiness from this book than what was actually delivered, based on that conversation. Even so, I still have hope that the other books in this series will improve upon the original stories from which they are borrowed.