In Waistcoats and Weaponry, by Gail Carriger, Sophronia Temminick attends the most elite finishing school in England, one that instructs not only in etiquette and decorum, but also the complex world of espionage. Luckily, Sophronia is a natural in ferreting out secrets, gathering information, and learning to use everyday household items, such as a fan, as weapons.
In this book, Sophronia, now in her second year, finds herself swept up in a plot that will upend the lives of everyone in England. Along the way, she must navigate the treacherous waters involving matters of the heart, friendship, and loyalty.
I love this series, and very much enjoyed the book. Sophronia continues to grow as a person, learning when to put duty before friendship and vice versa, as well as when she needs to set aside her own interests for what’s best for those she cares about. Plot-wise, I feel this was sort of a bridge between the previous books and what will come. A lot of things that happened don’t get resolved, but it left me with a great desire to see how they will be resolved. I also enjoyed seeing events that I previously read about in the Parasol Protectorate books unfolding here.
Finally, I just really liked seeing a book filled with girls of all different characters without feeling that one “type” of girl was superior to another. All the girls interests and pursuits were equally valid, even that of Sophronia’s nemesis, Monique.