Hardcover, 352 pages
Strands of Bronze and Gold has been on my to-read list for a while. The notion of a Bluebeard retelling really intrigues me, which is why I was very excited to read this book.
Sophia Petheram was invited to stay with her godfather Monsieur Bernard de Cressac after her father’s passing. She was at first jubilant about this, and deeply charmed by her debonair, handsome godfather. However, she soon discovered that things were not as idly wonderful as she first thought.
The story itself held much promises as it is a retelling of a hugely popular fairytale which contains streaks of horror and gore. The ending was good and the imagery was brilliant. I could actually imagine what was going on at the moment. However, I find the whole story a little too long, as most parts could be easily dismissed or cut, and there isn’t much surprise and suspense along the way. In short, it was quite boring - basically nothing really happened until somewhere near the end.
The heroine, might I say, was innocent to the point of stupidity. Did it never cross her mind that nothing in this world is free? Surely she did not expect a stranger to smother her with luxury beyond her imagination without asking for anything in return? And surely she noticed traces of inappropriateness and craze when her godfather behaved in such a way that could only be described as sexual harassment? (Imagine him licking her neck and kissing her forcefully on the lips)
Sophia’s reactions towards her godfather (and later fiancé, because the crazy old man finally decided she was too alluring to be only her goddaughter) were really frustrating. She never rejected his inappropriate manners until matters got worse. And no, I don’t think sacrificing your own happiness for the sake of getting money to help your sibling out of debt is a noble act, especially when he is a gambler!
I just hoped the story had been better.