Oh Gail Carriger, how I love thee. Set in the same universe as The Parasol Protectorate books, Etiquette & Espionage is set earlier. It introduces us, so far, to Genvieve LeFoux and Sidheag Kingair as kids though they are not the main characters. The main character is Miss Sophronia Temmennick, the youngest daughter of some wealthy country folks. She is constantly getting in trouble for being so very unladylike. Imagine a lady who climbs! At any rate, the young girl (fourteen in this book) is packed of by her mother to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
This finishing school is not your ordinary finishing school. There’s a rove vampire as a teacher and the attendees do indeed learn both etiquette and espionage. They teach you how to set a perfect party…and to poison any number of your guests! Sophronia gets into trouble almost constantly but as she tends to save the day or bring important information forward, she tends to get away with it.
I was hesitant at first to pick this up as the main character is fourteen. I was worried that I couldn’t get into the story with a character who is so much younger than myself. I shouldn’t have worried. Gail Carriger has a wonderful writing style and I love her steampunk-y world. I love Alexia and Sophronia because they’re a lot like me personality wise. I also love the ridiculous names that she comes up with, such as Pillover.
I really can’t wait for the next book to come out. Rating: A.