Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Strands of Bronze and Gold Review & Giveaway

Strands of Bronze and Gold
Author: Jane Nickerson
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 12, 2013


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.

Strands of Bronze and Gold is a re-telling of the Bluebeard Grimm tale. Like most other Grimm tales it is less fairy princess and more dark, gritty, mysterious story. The re-telling was no different. I was constantly wondering what would happen next and how the main character was going to escape her situation.

The novel begins with Sophia joining her godfather M. Bernard at his home in Mississippi after her father passes away. Sophia is sad to leave her sister and brothers but also excited to meet her mysterious godfather for the first time. Sophia initially enjoys her time at the Abbey and all of the lavish gifts M. Bernard bestows on her. Soon he begins to show his true colors though, and that is when the mystery revs up.

I truly enjoyed the setting in this novel. The abbey as well as the Southern setting felt very real. I could feel the oppressive heat and the moss in the trees. I could see the dark attic of the abbey when Sophia explored. I also liked that Jane Nickerson kept the time period in mind. The characters always acted in ways that would be appropriate of a lady and gentleman and when a social taboo was broken the characters noticed. It was attention to detail like this that really made me love Strands of Bronze and Gold. 

I also liked the characters, especially Sophia. She came to the abbey young and naïve and through her stay she finds her own inner strength. Sophia ends up saving those around her and becoming a true heroine. I also really liked the secondary characters M. Bernard was both devilishly handsome and slightly evil (my favorite mix). He confused me throughout the novel and I was never sure exactly how I felt about him until the end. I also loved Gideon, I know you’re cringing at the potential of there being a love triangle right now, so I will put your fears at ease there is no true love triangle. Gideon was everything a fine Southern gentleman should be and I loved that he acted realistically in the constraints society had placed on him.

Another pleasant surprise I had when reading this book is that it dealt with the Underground Railroad and the slave trade. Not many YA books tackle this topic, even other books that are set in this time frame. I liked that Sophia and her sister had strong feelings on the subject and that Sophia tries to do what she can to help the cause. Slavery was so prominent in the south at this time that I was glad it was integrated in to the story so well. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Strands of Bronze and Gold it was not only a great re-telling but a great piece of historical fiction as well. I can’t wait to read more from this debut author!


  1. I've been anticipating this book for so long! I'm excited that you say it's a great historical novel as well as a great fairy tale, because a strong historical backdrop can add so much to a story. Wonderful review!

  2. Looking forward to reading this! Seems epic :)

  3. Looks like it will be a great read!

  4. I have always really enjoyed re-tellings and what an interesting one to choose to retell. The side characters are sooo important so I am glad to hear that these are great ones to learn about. Love that you tell us not to fear a triangle :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

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  6. I'm a big fan of retellings, so I'm really excited about this book! Especially because of the beautiful cover!

  7. This book sounds really interesting!

  8. i have been wanting to read this for a long time. I love YA historicals!

  9. Great review! the book sounds and look awsome have to check it out heard great review about this book!

  10. I'd like to start reading more historical fiction and i think i would like this because the story seems interesting. Thank you for the helpful review :)

  11. I just found your blog when you posted on Goodreads about this giveaway! I have to say it's so beautiful!

    I also think that books sounds so awesome and that cover!!! Oh my golly gosh, so pretty.

    Char @ From the Shadows I Review

  12. I just found this blog on goodreads. Its awesome.
    I think your book sounds great and the cover makes its attracting, something i,look for when I'm cjosing a book. I can't wait to read it.

  13. I love the old fairy tales and I really love the newer retellings. Until recently, I'd never heard of or read the Bluebeard Grimm tale - You're the 2nd person I've seen refer to it in a review of this book tho.
    It makes me even MORE intrigued and interested in reading this book (AND the Bluebeard Grimm tale too!)
    Thank you so much for the giveaway opportunity!

    ~ Lynne (from TwoReads

  14. I like re-tellings of fairy tales. Historical fiction is always fun to read. Great review!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  15. This book looks great, I am a big fan of YA and love to add books like this to my collection :)

  16. I have been excited for this book ever since reading the summary on goodreads. I love retellings. This book seems like it would be an interesting read, plus the cover is beautiful.

  17. I've been looking forward to this one fir a while, and I've read a number if other reviews from folks who liked it as much as you did. I agree with what Debz said in the first comment - I'm glad to hear you say it's a great retelling but also just really good historical fiction, because hist fic has always been in my top 3 favorite genres! I don't know much about this particular fairy tale, and really what first attracted me to it was the historical aspect. So glad you liked it, and thanks for the review and giveaway!!

  18. I'm excited to read Strands because I absolutely love retellings of old tales! I've never actually read the Bluebeard one though. Great review! Thank you so much for the giveaway :)

  19. I love fairy tales. I also like it when they stick with the customs of that time period.
    I am anxious to read it and hope to win.
    Thank you.

  20. Excellent review! I wasn't sure about this book but you laid it out well for me. Sounds like a great historical and I love that it tackled the heavier subjects.

  21. This was a great review, and I am sure that it really is a great book, but I just don't know. For some reason I just have a hard time getting into historical novels. I am still going to try to read it though, because sometimes (a lot of times, actually) I end up liking books I didn't think that I would like. Thanks so much for your review!

  22. I have been eager to read this book! Thank you for sharing your review I am sad I missed the giveaway. This would have been a great book to win. I used to turn my nose up at historical stories until I read one for a review I had to do. It def changed my perspective on the genre.