Monday, March 11, 2013

Add to Goodreads
Title: Strands of Bronze and Gold
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

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.

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.

Rating:   photo 3-1.png


  1. Sorry to hear this one fell flat for you! I was really excited for it, but I've heard several reviewers mention the slow pace and Sophia's very naive personality... Personally, I don't mind a slow pace if the atmosphere is built up instead, but frustrating heroines are a different story. Hm.
    But was it really not creepy? Because an older dude with a thing for young girls... how could it not be creepy?! (By the way, I'd totally be up for a story told from the villain's POV!)
    I'm really undecided about this book now :/ Some people love it, some don't...
    Your review is really well-written though! I like that you pointed out what worked for you and what didn't and why!

  2. Wow! I totally agree with you. After reading a few reviews on this novel, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only person who found Sophie frustrating and the story slow. And I couldn't agree more—someone needs to rewrite all the folklore from the villain's perspectives for a change. Bernard's POV certainly would've made this read a lot more fun and wicked.

    Great review. Thanks for sharing.

    Raina @ The LUV'NV

  3. Fabulous review! I agree with you 100%. Overall I enjoyed the writing and bits of the story, but it was just so darn slow and uneventful. I also think the fact that it was marketed as a "Bluebeard retelling" worked against it. I hadn't read the original tale but I did look it up so I immediately knew what it was about... and that kind of took out any surprise in the story for me. It made the whole thing very predictable and not as creepy as I was anticipating.

  4. Sucktards. I saw lots of buzz about this & had to stop by & see what's up. Thanks for an honest review. I trust you to leave this one on the back burner. ;D

  5. Like you, I loved the cover, but honestly that is the only appealing thing to me about this book. The pretty cover isn't enough for me to pick this one up. It just didn't sound exciting to me at all. Thanks for your review!

  6. Grr...this sounds like it really could have been great. I'm a fan of the gore so it's disappointing to hear that it lacked. I've had good luck with re-tellings though so I may still give this a shot.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...