Curtsies & Conspiracies: Finishing School, Book 2
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Curtsies & Conspiracies is the second book in Gail Carriger's bestselling Finishing School series about girls at a floating airship of a training school for assassins that operates under the guise of a finishing school for young ladies. As in the first book, Etiquette & Espionage, it's fun, entertaining, and thrilling and set in an alternate 1800s steampunk world filled with cool gadgets. There are hijinks, misadventures, pranks, some mild bickering but not much violence, except for when the characters learn sword fighting and poisoning to be assassins, as well as in an incident when some men try to kidnap two girls. There's no swearing, but the male character Soap is called a "darkie." There's mild flirting and a kiss. This volume touches more on politics and the rising tension between humans and supernaturals; vampires and werewolves are more prevalent here. But Curtsies & Conspiracies is mainly about friendship, love, and mystery.
Report this review
Subtle and not so subtle content
Report this review
What's the Story?
CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES picks up where the first book, Etiquette & Espionage, left off with Sophronia and friends at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. The girls are continuing their training in how to be spies, assassins, and ladies. This time, Sophronia and crew are heading to London for the Season -- and a covert mission involving a conspiracy. Tension's rising among the humans and supernaturals, particularly the vampires. Sophronia gets involved in a conspiracy and other misadventures, including a ball.
Is It Any Good?
Author Gail Carriger hits it out of the ballpark with her follow-up to Etiquette & Espionage, her YA debut. In fact, Curtsies & Conspiracies is even better. Her wit, humor, clever dialogue, and unique plot and subplots sparkle, and, as in the first book, Carriger's characters and world come to life on the page.
Readers will thoroughly enjoy Sophronia and her friends' adventures at the academy, as well as the budding romance between Sophronia and Soap, which continues and grows throughout the novel. Curtsies & Conspiracies touches more on politics and the rising tension between humans and supernaturals, with vampires and werewolves being more prevalent. After turning the last page, readers will be eager for the third book.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the Finishing School series. How does Curtsies & Conspiracies compare with the first book, Etiquette & Espionage?
How do the politics and discrimination against supernatural creatures such as vampires and werewolves in Curtsies & Conspiracies relate to real life?
How do you like how the budding romance between Sophronia and Soap has progressed? Do you think Sophronia will finally get a clue?
- Author: Gail Carriger
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Arts and Dance, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Science and Nature
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: November 11, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 320
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 1, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Etiquette & Espionage: Finishing School, Book 1
Delightful steampunk fantasy about girl spies and assassins.
Something Strange and Deadly, Book 1
Thrilling fantasy mixes mystery, Victorian romance, zombies.
Clockwork Angel: Infernal Devices, Book 1
Victorian-era fantasy series starts with plenty of violence.
For kids who love fantasy
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate