Review contains mild spoilers for the book.
A Dress For the Wicked follows Emmaline “Emmy” Watkins, a girl from the country whose dream is to become a designer for Madame Jolène’s fashion house. She gets selected to participate in the house’s annual design competition where she is the first competitor from the country as opposed to the city. As she continues in the competition, Emmaline discovers that this ticket into the world of high fashion is not quite what she believes it to be.
I gave A Dress For the Wicked 3/5 stars. I thought that I was really going to enjoy this story because I love fashion and this book is advertised as “Betrayal has never been so fashionable than in Autumn Krause’s glamorous debut.” However, I did not quite get the theme of betrayal in this novel except for one instance that was not revealed until the last 20 pages of the book. I gave this book 3 stars because although there were some parts that missed the mark for me, it was compulsively readable. I didn’t want to put it down because of the intrigue that someone was out to get the protagonist.
I also enjoyed the plot line that Emmy was being used as a political pawn for the fashion house. There was a reason that she was chosen and that reason is so the fashion house was seen as sympathetic to the reformist party. Instead of competing like the other contestants, Emmy was shoved into interviews and appearances for Madame Jolène’s benefit.
As for the fashion aspect of this novel, I thought Krause did a great job. She described the garments beautifully and touched upon the styles of the other contestants which I appreciated. I enjoyed the mentions of different fabrics, details and how retail customers act.
Overall, I enjoyed A Dress For the Wicked and it’s story line. If you like books with political intrigue and fashion, I would suggest this for you.
A Dress For the Wicked releases August 7th. Pre-order here