My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed the Parasol Protectorate series as a fun bit of steampunk silliness. This first installment of the Finishing School series is even sillier, but that may be due to its more YA focus (although that may be a disservice to those of the younger persuasion). Still, a pleasant diversion for when you get tired of reading stuff that takes itself more seriously. Well-written, humorous, with a fully-developed world, brim-full of petticoats, mechanimals, and lessons on the proper attire for the surreptitious application of hemlock. It was fun to meet Lady Kingair some years before the soulless Alexia Tarabotti has her run-in with Lord Conall Maccon.
“Miss Temminneck, arrange after-hours lessons with Professor Braithwope, do. We really must work on that curtsy of yours, dear. ”
“But I have advanced eyelash fluttering to practice, and a mathematics problem concerning how to order strychnine and a lamb dinner on a limited budget, and three chapters on court etiquette to read, and the quadrille to memorize! ”
“No one said learning etiquette and espionage would be easy, my dear. “