Waistcoats & Weaponry


By Gail Carriger

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Class is back in session….

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey hijack a suspiciously empty train to return their chum Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. But when Sophronia discovers they are being trailed by a dirigible of Picklemen and flywaymen, she unearths a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos. With her friends in mortal danger, Sophronia must sacrifice what she holds most dear–her freedom.

Gather your poison, your steel-tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine’s proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School series by steampunk author Gail Carriger.


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Table of Contents

A Sneak Peek of Manners & Mutiny

Copyright Page

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Funambulist," said Sophronia Temminnick, quite suddenly.

"Sophronia, such language!" Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott reprimanded.

"Pardon?" said Agatha Woosmoss.

Sidheag Maccon, the final member of Sophronia's group, muttered, "Bless you."

"I wasn't sneezing, nor being indelicate, thank you all very much. I was thinking out loud."

"As if thinking out loud weren't decidedly indelicate." Dimity was not to be swayed out of disapproval when she felt it might exercise her creativity.

"Funambulist. Do you think that's what Professor Braithwope was, you know, professionally, before he became a vampire? A tightrope walker in a carnival?"

"I suppose it's possible," said Dimity, mollified.

With which, the four girls all returned to staring over the railing of the squeak deck. They were, theoretically, in class with some ten fellow students and Professor Braithwope. It was their vampire teacher's custom of late to administer decidedly oddball lessons. Which is to say, more oddball than an ordinary lesson with a vampire in a floating dirigible espionage school.

It was a drizzly January evening, 1853, the sun recently set, and Professor Braithwope was currently twirling back and forth along the thin plank that stretched from the forward-most squeak deck's railing to the pilot's bubble. He was leagues up in the air.

Sophronia had watched the professor run that particular plank with deadly grace the very first day she came aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. She'd never anticipated watching him dance along it. Admittedly, he danced with no less grace than he ran, performing some sedate quadrille with an imaginary partner. However, he was doing so while balancing a flowerpot on his head, one that contained Sister Mattie's prize foxglove. Before his troubles, Professor Braithwope would never leave his room without a top hat occupying that sacred spot on his glossy brown coiffure. But for months his behavior had become increasingly erratic; witness the fact that he also wore an old-fashioned black satin cape with a high collar and scarlet lining. His fangs were extended, causing him to lisp slightly, and he punctuated his quadrille with a maniacal laugh that, if inscribed for posterity, might have been written as "Mua ha ha."

"Should one of us go after him?" Sophronia worried that he would fall to his doom. Plummeting to the moor would snap his tether to the dirigible, and it was tether-snap that had caused his madness in the first place.

"Why?" Preshea turned to her. "Are you some kind of tightrope walker yourself?"

Since the Dratted Monique had matriculated on to a new life as drone to Westminster vampire hive, Miss Preshea Buss had taken over all residual nastiness. She netted herself a group of stylish associates from among the new debuts, too young to know better.

Sophronia ignored Preshea and looked at Dimity. "What do you think?"

Professor Braithwope pirouetted. Far below, the wet grasses and prickly gorse slid by, partly visible through the mist.

"Perhaps someone should go for matron?" suggested Dimity.

"Or Lady Linette?" said Agatha.

"Is it all that different from any of our other lessons with the idiot?" asked Preshea. She and the rest of the class enjoyed the fact that their hours spent with Professor Braithwope had turned into a free-for-all with little guidance or actual work.

"He's not usually this bad." Sophronia didn't wish to be thought a goody-goody, especially not at a school of espionage, but she wanted their old mercurial professor back: the one who taught them to manipulate vampire politics; to use fashion to confuse and kill; to interact with government, high society, and curling tongs. This new vampire was bonkers, in a flowerpot-wearing way, and not at all useful. She understood why the school kept him on. Since he was tethered here, he must stay on board and couldn't be retired groundside. So far, he didn't seem dangerous to anyone but himself, but it was difficult to forget that he was a crazy immortal and they all were, in the end, food.

Sophronia's green eyes narrowed. Perhaps he was being used as a new kind of lesson: how to deal with a risky vampire in a powerful position.

Professor Braithwope whirled to face the sea of staring faces: a dozen bright, pretty young ladies, confused, amused, and concerned by his quadrille. "Ah, class! There you are, whot. Now remember, no matter how high, there is always time for frivolity or politics, whot?"

Sophronia perked up. Were they about to learn something?

"Speech," encouraged Preshea.

"We are all Queen Victoria's subjects, vampire or werewolf. We owe her allegiance. Only in England do we have a voice, a vote, and a snack. We help build the Empire, we keep our noble island strong."

Sophronia frowned. This was not new information. This was simply the progressive party stance.

"We have been members since King Henry's day. Or should I say night? My, but he was fat. And no pickle should relish that sandwich!" He finished there, arms wide.

The young ladies all clapped politely.

"Now, who would like to dance? One of you must be willing to trip the light mahogany? Miss Temminnick? You would not deny me a dance, whot?"

Sophronia adjusted her skirts. This might be the only way to get him back onto the squeak deck.

"Now, Sophronia," warned Dimity, "don't do anything hasty." She was one of the few who knew that Sophronia felt guilty over their teacher's insane condition.

Sophronia levered herself onto the railing and from there, the plank. It was just as narrow and as slippery as she expected. Her wide, heavy dress—held out with multiple petticoats—acted as ballast. She inched toward the vampire, not looking down.

At one point she slipped slightly and wobbled, arms pinwheeling.

Behind her, all the gathered young ladies gasped.

Dimity let out a small shriek.

Sophronia heard Agatha say, "I can't watch. Tell me when it's over."

"Sophronia!" said Preshea. "Come back here this instant. What are you doing? What if you fall? Can you imagine the scandal? This is ridiculous. Agatha, go fetch Lady Linette. Sophronia's going to get all of us into trouble. Really, Sophronia, why must you always spoil everyone's fun?"

Sophronia moved closer to Professor Braithwope.

"Ah, Miss Temminnick, how kind of you to join me. Would you care to dance?"

"No, thank you, Professor." She struggled to guide his fantasy back to safety. "But perhaps you could fetch me a little punch? I'm parched."

"Punch is it, whot?" The vampire tapped her lightly on the chin with his closed fist. "Mua ha ha! Aren't I droll? Of course, my dear girl, of course. But would you like blood punch or brain punch?" He paused, shook his head, and then said in a small voice, "Oh, wait, where… Miss Temminnick! What are you doing here? Whot whot?"

"You invited me, sir."

"I did? Why would I do that? What are you doing at a Buckingham Palace supernatural reception? You aren't even out yet. Plus, I'm tolerably certain you aren't a supernatural. You aren't high enough rank, either. Although I suppose we are both tolerably high up, whot."

"You were going to fetch me some punch, sir?"

"Was I?" He lowered his voice to a whisper. "I don't think Queen Victoria likes punch. In fact, I know she doesn't. Would a glass of resin do? For the wood. A nice sealant. Necessary in weather like this. They're collecting crystals, did you know? Pretty round ones, crystals to rule the world. Then there are mechanicals to think about. I don't trust them, do you? No, exactly! Not with punch, at any rate."

Sophronia remembered Westminster Hive. "Do any vampires trust mechanicals?"

"No. Nor do our brother werewolves. Why should they, whot? I mean to say, why should we? I am a vampire, am I not?"

"Yes, Professor, have been for hundreds of years."

"That long? Miss Temminnick, you should come with me." With that, Professor Braithwope picked Sophronia up bodily under one arm and carried her away from the squeak deck toward the pilot's bubble, mincing along the plank.

The pilot's bubble was the size of two very large bathtubs, one overturned on top of the other. It was supported from below by scaffolding but was otherwise far from the safety of the airship.

Professor Braithwope set her down on top of the bubble on a flat area big enough for two.

"Now what, sir?" Sophronia asked politely.

"Miss Temminnick, what are you doing on top of the pilot's bubble?"

"You just put me here, sir."

"Oh, yes. Now, would you like to dance?"

"If you insist. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of space."

"It is quite the rout, whot? I've never known Buckingham to be so crowded. Usually, the queen is more selective. Why, I believe there are even clavigers present. I mean, drones are one thing, but clavigers are little more than prison wardens! Not to worry, little bite, I'll do most of the work." He began a gentle waltz on top of the bubble. He was inhumanly strong and unbelievably well balanced. Sophronia trusted in his ability to hold her up and hoped he wouldn't suddenly forget about her, or think she was a hat and try to wear her instead of the flowerpot.

"Professor Braithwope, really!" came an autocratic voice from the squeak deck.

Agatha had returned with Lady Linette.

"Put Miss Temminnick down and come back here this instant. Shameful behavior, sir."

The vampire looked like a crestfallen schoolboy and stopped waltzing. Mademoiselle Geraldine was the official headmistress, but everyone knew Lady Linette held the real power. Accordingly, the vampire let Sophronia go, turned, and dashed back along the beam.

Sophronia slipped on the bubble roof. Her feet went out from under her, and she slid over the side. Her petticoats bunched and snagged on a loose nail, but not enough to do more than slow her fall.

Several of the watching young ladies screamed in horror.

Fortunately, Sophronia was accustomed to gallivanting about the hull of the ship. Her instincts kicked in. Instead of grappling for purchase, she reached one hand over to the opposite wrist. Pointing that wrist up, she ejected her hurlie. The hurlie looked a bit like a turtle one wore as a bracelet, but when it was deployed, two grappling hooks sprang out from underneath. The hurlie arced up and over the bubble, taking hold on the other side. It trailed a rope, so Sophronia fell only that distance before her left arm was fairly jerked out of its socket. She got her right hand around the rope to relieve the strain and found herself dangling like a fish at the end of a line.

"Miss Temminnick," she heard Lady Linette cry, "report your condition."

"Sophronia," shrieked Dimity, "are you all right? Oh, dear, oh, dear."

Shocked and winded, Sophronia needed a moment before she could answer either.

"Professor Braithwope, go after her!" Lady Linette ordered.

"Dear madam," protested the vampire, "must protect the other young ladies from an equally dire fate." With which there came the sound of splintering wood.

Sophronia twirled sedately at the end of her rope, eventually able to witness the vampire destroying his former dancing beam with his bare hands.

"Professor, stop that immediately!" instructed Lady Linette.

"Sophronia, are you well? Oh, please answer." Dimity again.

Sophronia mustered enough breath to yell back, "I'm perfectly fine. However, it appears I am now stranded." She couldn't see any way to climb up to the deck or down along the bubble's scaffolding to return to the ship. Fortunately, the pilot's bubble remained in place, although it did sway a bit more without the added stabilization of the beam.

"Miss Temminnick," said Lady Linette. "Where did you get that ingenious hook thing?"

"A friend," replied Sophronia.

"Unregistered gadgetry is not allowed on school grounds, young lady. Although I find myself pleased you had this particular one to hand. Or to wrist, I should say."

Sophronia, still spinning serenely through space, replied with, "I do apologize, Lady Linette, but might we discuss this later? Perhaps now we should solve my immediate predicament?"

"Of course, dear," yelled her teacher, and then, distracted, "No, Professor Braithwope, not the soldier mechanicals. Bad vampire!"

"Lady Linette?" hollered Sophronia, feeling neglected.

"Yes, dear. If you could climb up to the underside of the pilot's bubble? You'll find a hatch to get inside just there. We'll use capsule pipeline eggs to communicate with you once you're safe. I'll send Professor Lefoux. She's better at these sorts of engineering difficulties."

How, wondered Sophronia, is my dangling off the bubble an engineering difficulty? She said, "Very good, thank you."

She spun around enough to see back up to the squeak deck, in time to witness Lady Linette dash after the mincing Professor Braithwope. "Now, now, Professor, please!" He was still wearing his potted plant.

She saw Sister Mattie's round, drab form appear and heard that teacher say, "My dears, have you seen my prize foxglove? Oh, no, Professor, really? I spent weeks on that one!" She bounced up and down, attempting to extract the plant from Professor Braithwope's head.

The assembled young ladies, with the exception of Dimity, Agatha, and Sidheag, found the spectacle of Sophronia dangling no longer to their taste and turned to follow the hijinks of their teachers.

"Sophronia," came Dimity's voice, "will you be all right?" Her face was wrinkled with genuine worry.

"Can we help in any way?" Agatha wanted to know. She, too, worried, but was less aggressive about it.

"Want some company?" said Sidheag. She rarely worried about anything and had complete confidence in Sophronia's ability to extract herself from any predicament.

"Oh, dear me, no," replied Sophronia, as if she had a mild case of the sniffles and they had called 'round to inquire after her health. "Thank you for your concern, but don't linger on my account."

"Well…" Dimity was hesitant. "If you're certain?"

"I'll see you at tea," said Sophronia, sounding more confident than she felt.

"Either that or we shall come back up here in an hour and toss crumpets to you."

"Oh, how thoughtful, tossed crumpets. Thank you, Sidheag."

"Can't have you starving as you dangle."

"No, I suppose not."

"Bye for now." Agatha turned reluctantly away.

Dimity said, lingering, "Are you quite certain?"


"Carry on, then, Sophronia," said Sidheag with a grin, before marching off. Her tall, bony form somehow transmitted sarcastic humor even across all the empty space that separated them.

Sophronia was left suspended and alone.

Despite her wrenched shoulder, Sophronia managed to climb up the rope hand over hand—she had indecently large arm muscles for a young lady of quality. By dint of some fancy footwork and the tension from her hurlie, she wiggled around the outside of the bubble to the hatch. It was difficult to open, as if it had not been used in a long time. It was also narrow. Her skirts were so wide she stoppered up the opening like a wine cork. She had to ease herself back out and shed two petticoats, utilizing a one-handed unlacing technique. They fluttered to the moor, doomed to cause confusion to a small herd of shaggy ponies that roamed there. She was resigned to the loss. Espionage, Sophronia had learned, was tough on petticoats. After that she squeezed through, finding herself, with a good deal of relief, inside the pilot's bubble.

Sophronia didn't know what she'd expected. Some wizened man who spent his days cooped up in a bathtub? But the bubble was not designed for human occupation at all.

The front had three small portholes, through which, on a rare clear day, all of Dartmoor would be laid out like a tablecloth. Tonight the view was nothing but dark drizzle.

The whole forward half of the bubble was filled with engorged mechanical. Had it been human, it would have been one of those gentlemen who partook too freely of the pudding course and too little of daily exercise. Most mechanicals were human sized and mimicked the shape of a lady's dress—which is to say smaller on the top, wider on the bottom. Or perhaps it was ladies' fashion that imitated the shape of mechanicals? Skirts were getting so ridiculously wide, one was hard pressed to walk down a hallway without knocking things over. Mechanicals were more reasonably sized… except this one. This one could give Preshea in her most fashionable ball gown stiff competition. Its lower extremities formed a pile of machinery, not hidden under a respectable carapace but exposed and horribly functional. Perched on top of this was a normal mechanical brain, facing forward. It boasted multiple arms, like a spider. Occasionally, it reached out one clawlike appendage and pulled a lever or twiddled a switch.

"Pardon me for introducing myself, Mr. Mechanical. I'm Miss Temminnick. Are you equipped with verbal protocols?"

The pilot ignored her. Perhaps it did not have the ability to see that a wayward student had climbed into its domain. Lacking options, Sophronia explored. There wasn't much: a few ropes, a cornucopia of tools, and that squatting mechanical. She brushed off her skirts and sat down atop a tall leather hatbox thing. She ran an assessment of her physical condition, finding herself basically unharmed, simply sore. She considered how to retrieve her grappling hook, still embedded on the outside of the bubble. Her only option might be to climb back out, using one of the ropes as a safety line.

A whooshing noise interrupted her thoughts. An egg-shaped pod spat out of a tube and skidded along a specially designed trough. One of the mechanical's arms came crashing down and cracked the egg open.

Sophronia jumped and squeaked at the suddenness of it.

The mechanical reached out with yet another of its appendages and unrolled the paper within. The paper was perforated with small holes of variable location. This the mechanical rested on a reader that looked like the voice coil of a standard mechanical—music box technology.

Another arm turned a crank and the paper fed through. Sophronia supposed this would normally issue a set of protocols to the mechanical on how to pilot the ship, but in this case it caused the tinny voice of an underused vocal-quadringer to read instructions.

"Rope ladder stashed below Pirandellope Probe, near feeding tube for capsule pipeline."

Sophronia knew the instructions were for her. Somehow, even though the sound was mechanized and lacked emphasis, the message conveyed Professor Lefoux's special brand of French disinterest.


That's it?" Sidheag was disappointed in Sophronia's desultory description of the pilot's bubble.

"When did you get interested in technology?" replied Sophronia.

"It's not that; I was hoping that after we left, you would fall to your doom. Something exciting for once."

"Thank you kindly, Lady Kingair. The fact that I was initially dropped overboard by a vampire wasn't exciting enough for you?"

"Not with you, Sophronia, it wasn't." Sidheag passed over the buttered pikelets without having to be asked.

"I spoil you, that's the problem." Sophronia, secretly flattered, deposited a pikelet onto her plate.

Sidheag's masculine face lit up with a grin.

Teatime conversation flowed smoothly among the members of their little band. Over a year and a half's association and Sophronia would have described the other three as confidantes extraordinaire. The best part being that she knew they felt the same way about her. Each had her own set of abilities. Sidheag had stoic strength. Dimity a guileless craftiness. Agatha… well, perhaps Agatha was a bit of a wet blanket. She was loyal to a fault and she did try. She tried too hard sometimes.

As if to illustrate this, the chubby redhead looked suddenly panicked and began to pat her person and rifle through her reticule. "What class do we have after tea?" she asked, voice wobbling.

Dimity looked up from applying strawberry jam to her pikelet. "Captain Niall. It's Thursday, we always have him on Thursdays, unless the moon is full. Really, Agatha dear, how could you forget? It's Captain Niall!"

Agatha was relieved. "Oh, that's all right. Unless… we weren't meant to bring anything, were we? Scissors, or paperweights, or wheat paste, or…?"

"No," Sidheag answered. She was always prepared for Captain Niall's classes. They were her favorite, and not only because he was a proper bit of sweetmeat. Sidheag liked weapons training. She was Scottish, after all. "We're moving on from deadly library supplies to something else this evening. He didn't say what." She tugged on her earlobe, uncomfortable. Sophronia wasn't certain if that was because she didn't know what was going on or because of Captain Niall. Sophronia suspected Sidheag of harboring a good deal of romantic interest in their werewolf professor. Of course, half the young ladies of Mademoiselle Geraldine's tendered feelings in his direction. Captain Niall was quite dashing. Sidheag, either because she was embarrassed to acknowledge any emotion or because she was disgusted with herself for belonging to a popular movement, had yet to confess said interest.

Sophronia, as a result, rather enjoyed teasing her on the subject. "Didn't say? Not even to you? But I thought you two were so close."

Sidheag walked right into her trap. "Not that close! He doesn't share lesson plans with me."

"Well, then, does he share something else?"

Dimity was feeling equally mischievous. "Dead rabbits, perhaps? Laying his kill at your feet."

"What?" Sidheag was genuinely confused.

Dimity was not to be turned aside. "As if we didn't see you nuzzling up to the lovely captain regularly."

Sidheag objected to this unwarranted accusation. "Nuzzling! He's ten times my age!"

Dimity waved an airy hand. "Immortals usually are, and he certainly still cuts a fine figure."

Sophronia nudged Sidheag's shoulder. "And you know werewolves. I mean to say, you know them." They so rarely got to rib Sidheag.

The Scottish girl actually blushed.

Mindful of her chamber-mate's finer feelings, Agatha returned them to the subject of preparing for class. "Well, thank goodness it's him. I was sure we had Lady Linette, and I've misplaced my chewing tobacco for card rooms and informant recruiting."

"Again? Really, Agatha." Sidheag was unsympathetic.

"To be fair, yesterday it was the lip tint. If you only kept your side of the room cleaner."

"You can't blame me for your absentmindedness."

"Yes, I can." Agatha only really had any gumption with Sidheag. Which was funny, because Sidheag was so gruff and Agatha so timid. But after months of their living together, Agatha had learned to stick up for herself. Sidheag was a big softy underneath her grumbling. It came, they all suspected, from being raised by werewolves. As Dimity said, "Sidheag surely does grumpy old man very well for a sixteen-year-old girl."

"Are you four going to sit there gossiping all night?" Preshea was standing above them, looking down her nose. A rare opportunity for the girl, as she was quite short.

The dining room was empty. Somehow, they had missed the mass exodus. The maid mechanicals were beginning to clear the tea tables.

"Oh, I see, you're waiting to gather up the extra pikelets, so Agatha can have a snack later." Preshea had a very clipped way of talking, as though each word were murdered just after being spoken.

At the dig over her portly frame, Agatha teared up.

Dimity gasped and put her hand to her lips.

Sophronia was so perturbed by the direct nature of the attack that she lacked a ready rebuttal.

Sidheag, on the other hand, simply threw her mostly uneaten pikelet at Preshea.

"Lady Kingair," said Preshea, shocked, "this is a new gown!"

"Well, you shouldn't go around being nasty when the rest of us are armed with nibbly bits, should you?" Sidheag was unperturbed by the smear of jam that now decorated Preshea's décolletage.

Preshea flounced off, still in possession of verbal superiority. After all, they ought to have responded with wit, not flying pancakes. But Agatha looked cheered by Sidheag's pikelet defense.

Dimity sniffed. "That girl is like walking, talking indigestion. Sophronia, can't we do something about her?"

Sophronia frowned. "I don't know if it's worth the risk. They've been watching me closely since the Westminster Hive incident."

"Please?" Dimity gave her big hazel-eyed look of appeal.

"I'll think about it. Now come on; we're late, and the staircase won't wait."

They abandoned the last of the pikelets uneaten and trooped down after the rest of the students toward the midship deck. Before they could catch the other young ladies, however, they were waylaid.

"Lady Kingair, a moment of your time, please?"

Professor Lefoux was the most fearsome teacher at the school. Her subjects included deadly gadgetry, high-impact weaponry, and infiltrating academia. Even Sophronia was equal parts terrified and impressed by her visage, attitude, and abilities. However, she was not the type of teacher to accost one in the hallways, nor intercept a student when she was already late for class.

Sidheag, controlling her surprise, faced the austere lady. They were almost of a height. Professor Lefoux was the only person at the school next to whom Sidheag's governess-like attire seemed soft and approachable.

The professor, Sophronia always felt, looked as if she had been sticking her head out the side of a very fast carriage. All her hair was pulled back from her unlined face, making her seem stretched.

"Yes, Professor, how may I help you?" Even Sidheag knew when to be polite.

"You have received"—Professor Lefoux paused, distressed, if such a thing were to be thought possible—"a pigeon."

The girls gasped. Pigeons were for emergency use only.

Sidheag blanched. "Has someone died? Is it Gramps? Has he been challenged?"

Professor Lefoux glanced at the other three girls, who nudged up to their friend sympathetically. "It is a private matter. This way, please. Alone, young lady." She turned and strode down the hallway, expecting Sidheag to follow.


  • Praise for Waistcoats & Weaponry:

    A 2015 Locus Award Nominee
    A 2015 Steampunk Chronicle Best Young Adult Steampunk Fiction
  • "Sophronia Temminick and her friends once again face adventure and mystery.... Carriger's trademark wit and humor are ever-present, and this outing in the Finishing School series finishes on a more emotional note as the heroine discovers where her heart lies."
    School Library Journal

  • "Thrilling.... the well-wrought steampunk/supernatural setting provides a vibrant backdrop to Sophronia's fast-paced adventures and witty banter, and her difficult dilemmas...add emotional depth."
    The Horn Book

  • Praise for Curtsies & Conspiracies:

    * "Carriger's second steampunk adventure exceeds the first... the fun, again, is in watching ever-practical Sophronia sneak and scheme her way into sometimes dangerous, sometimes riotously funny, situations.... We repeat: This witty, light-hearted series is not to be missed."

    Booklist, starred review

  • * "Teenage and adult fans alike will rejoice that Carriger retains her flair for musical prose, over-the-top names, clever wit, and strange yet helpful mechanical devices of all kinds. Carriger's blend of comically exaggerated characters and madcap action will easily win over readers once again."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • * "[A] world of manners, steampunk, and the supernatural. [Carriger] again manages to blend the rules of etiquette with inventions and creatures effortlessly, creating a diverse world of wonder."

    VOYA, starred review

  • "The language is every bit as delightful as in Sophronia's first adventure... even in this weightier tale."—Kirkus Reviews

  • "[Carriger] jumps right into the thick of the action, developing a fast-paced plot that is sure to keep readers' attention...this is a must-have purchase."

    School Library Journal

  • "The strength, wit, charisma, and sheer likeability of Sophronia is a refreshing and welcome change from the typical protagonist of today's young adult novels...Teenage girls will laugh, cheer, and empathize as the girls at the academy experience all of the same emotions they do, but in a Victorian steampunk fashion."

    Library Media Connection

  • Praise for Etiquette & Espionage:

    An ALSC Notable Book for Children
    A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
    A YALSA Popular Paperbacks Pick
    A Horn Book Summer Reading List Selection
  • * "Carriger's YA debut brings...cleverly Victorian methods of espionage, witty banter, lighthearted silliness, and a ship full of intriguingly quirky people."
    Booklist, starred review

  • * "Carriger deploys laugh-out-loud bon mots on nearly every page...Amid all the fun, the author works in commentary on race and class in a sparkling start to the Finishing School series."

    Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • * "[A] delightfully madcap espionage adventure."

    Kirkus Reviews, starred review

  • * "Carriger's leading lady is a strong, independent role model for female readers... Ladies and gentlemen of propriety are combined with dirigibles, robots, werewolves, and vampires, making this story a steampunkmystery and an adventure mash-up that is sure to intrigue readers..."

    School Library Journal, starred review

  • "If spunky Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey happened onto a steampunk set, she might look a lot like Sophronia Angelina Temminnick."

    Shelf Awareness

On Sale
Oct 6, 2015
Page Count
320 pages

Gail Carriger

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London.

Learn more about this author