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Thursday, June 13, 2013

My Thoughts: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

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.

Oh the cover of this book is absolutely incredible!! I think it's one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen. I just want to stare at it all day long.

Anywho- the story.

It was Misty from The Book Rat that first had me considering Jane Nickerson's debut Strands of Bronze and Gold. She was reading it for her Fairy Tale Fortnight event and mentioned that it was a retelling of the Bluebeard story. She seemed to enjoy it and I thought I would give it a try. Let me first say, I knew absolutely nothing about the Bluebeard fairy tale, so I didn't know what to expect from Strands of Bronze and Gold. When looking into the novel, a number of readers suggested not looking up the Bluebeard story. So that's what I did... at first. About half way through reading I did end up looking up the fairy tale because I couldn't handle being that much in the dark.

The story begins with Sophie going to live with her Godfather, Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, after her father passes away. At first Sophie is happy to be at her Godfather's mansion and living the rich life. However as time goes on Sophie soon realizes that the man is VERY controlling and possessive and she becomes increasingly uncomfortable with her situation and the demands of de Cressac.

I really enjoyed Strands of Bronze and Gold. Having no knowledge of the base story I was fascinated with what was going on and what Sophie had gotten herself into. Nickerson did a great job keeping me on my toes and engaged with the story. It wasn't just a creepy story, with a creepy man making inappropriate advances to a young girl. It was more than that. Nickerson takes the story further and sets in the southern United States during the time when slavery was an acceptable practice. Owning slaves was something that Sophie did not condone and she was very vocal to Monsieur de Cressac regarding her distaste. I really appreciated the way Nickerson approached this theme and incorporated it into her book. It really added flavour to the story.

I absolutely loved all the characters in this book. Even Bernard de Cressac. He was wonderfully written and he was the perfect villain. You couldn't help but like him in the beginning- in this case it was easy to see why Sophie was so enthralled with him. Nickerson also did a fantastic job of making Monsieur de Cressac more and more strange the deeper into the book we got. It was a lot of fun to read.

Overall, Strands of Bronze and Gold was a great read. I loved the spin Jane Nickerson put on the Bluebeard story and I am really looking forward to reading more by her.

Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. I had a major problem with this story because I HATED the love interest. I can't remember what his name was, but his attitude made me FURIOUS. It's hinted that he senses that de Cressac is up to no good. He even warns Sophie to be careful and tells her that she can always come to him if she needs help. He felt that it was unethical for him to keep seeing Sophie without her guardian's knowledge and I felt it was unethical of him to abandon her. I can't forgive that in a hero.

  2. The characters sound really well done, and glad that you enjoyed this one

  3. Ha so weird and random that I JUST read another review of this book on another blog. They didn't like it as much as you did but I'm super curious about it not. I have no clue what the Bluebeard fairy tale is at all. It sounds like the relationships are really complex and fleshed out - more than what it looks on the surface type. I think I'd like that. I will definitely add this on my library list.

  4. Oh yes, pretty cover! I haven't read the Bluebeard story either, but I'm still intrigued by this one. Especially with the villain after reading your description of him. Honestly, this one hadn't been on my radar at all until now after reading your review!

  5. I'm glad you enjoyed this more than I did. I thought the story was okay, but the main character annoyed me so much, I kept rooting for the villain. I was loosely familiar with the Bluebeard legend but I didn't know too much going into the story either. Nice review!


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