I was so thrilled when Book #3 of the Finishing School Series came out! Waistcoats & Weaponry follows in the excellent footsteps of Books #1 (Etiquette and Espionage) and #2 (Curtsies and Conspiracies) which I re-read right before reading this one. I actually ALSO re-read the entire Parasol Protectorate Series (beginning with Soulless) to re-acquaint myself with that world (and okay, because I love those books).
Sophronia is now in her second year of Madame Geraldine’s unusual finishing school, learning the secret tricks of the trade, including wielding a bladed fan and developing her Seductive Looks.
When things go wrong at home for her classmate and friend Sidheag (Lady Maccon), Sophronia and her team (including Dimity, the sootie Soap, and Lord Felix Mersey) band together to help get Sidheag back to her pack. On the way they uncover plots and face down with enemies – and Sophronia must decide where her loyalties lie.
With a little bit of romance, a lot of covert activity, and Sophronia’s creative style, this is a perfect companion to the other books in the series. I highly enjoyed it!
Sophronia is growing up – but remains quirky and altogether too curious for polite society (although this makes her excellent as a covert recruit).
Dimity is still fluffy, but she’s showing more and more backbone, which I like.
Soap and Lord Mersey add plenty of opportunities for flirting and confused feelings, which is the only area where Sophronia is at a bit of a loss (though not a complete loss – flirting is a valuable skill after all).
If you haven’t tried out Gail Carriger yet, do!! If you’re an adult, start here. If you’re looking for strictly YA, this series is for you!