Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger – Review

Cover- Curtsies and Conspiracies

Published: November 5, 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Pages: 310 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0



Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy–won’t Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail’s distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

Gail Carriger is one of the more recent additions to my theoretical list of favorite authors, though I haven’t even had the chance to delve into her adult fantasy series. The Finishing School books are immensely fun to read; the characters are bright and lively and I often find myself laughing aloud at their antics. Curtsies and Conspiracies is the second book in the Finishing School series and continues Sophronia Temminick’s education at a school that is actually a floating airship. She’s learning to be a proper lady as well as how to be a proper spy or assassin and she’s certainly getting practice at both this term.

Sophronia and her friends Dimity, Sidheag, and Anna are delightful. They’re the perfect characters for a YA book set in this era, being a combination of proper, spunky, and hilarious. The plot is not particularly deep and complex, though it’s appealing nonetheless. These are short, fun books, not some tome of moral and ethical depth so I was expecting something with a lighter plot.

I really love this series so far (I’m assuming you’ve figured that out by now). I’ve even got my mom started on the first book because she was looking for something fun to read on the weekends! Honestly, there’s not much else to say without repeating myself. Definitely check it out!

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