Reading Level Adult/ though it's clean and would be appropriate for a young audience
Hardcover, 336 pgs.
Published April 10th, 2012 by Tor
Please note this is the second in a series and the description as well as the review may have slight spoilers for the first book.
Mary Robinette Kowal stunned readers with her charming first novel Shades of Milk and Honey, a loving tribute to the works of Jane Austen in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence. This magic comes in the form of glamour, which allows talented users to form practically any illusion they can imagine. Shades debuted to great acclaim and left readers eagerly awaiting its sequel. Glamour in Glass continues following the lives of beloved main characters Jane and Vincent, with a much deeper vein of drama and intrigue.In the tumultuous months after Napoleon abdicates his throne, Jane and Vincent go to Belgium for their honeymoon. While there, the deposed emperor escapes his exile in Elba, throwing the continent into turmoil. With no easy way back to England, Jane and Vincent’s concerns turn from enjoying their honeymoon…to escaping it.Left with no outward salvation, Jane must persevere over her trying personal circumstances and use her glamour to rescue her husband from prison . . . and hopefully prevent her newly built marriage from getting stranded on the shoals of another country's war.
Shades of Milk and Honey was one that totally blew me away. I have a hard time reading Jane Austen because of the length and the many descriptions and I feel that the author has brought us a new version (it's a new story and everything) that is nice and easy to read. The comparisons to Jane Austen are that it's in her style, she uses the words that Jane Austen used and tries to avoid using any words that weren't in existence at that time and the writing feels like Jane Austens as well as it's the same type of story that she wrote. But it's much faster and easier to read. And Mary Robinette Kowal, the genius, has added magic to the picture!
Now don't get any ideas that this is full of constant action or anything, but I felt like it moved at a good pace. Yes, sometimes things went a bit slower as Jane and Vincent learned new glamural techniques, etc, but I never felt bored at all. And in fact I am surprised that I comprehend so much of the magical stuff. You see magic is pulled from the ether and is made into things that everyone can see. People can glamour their sofa to look newer, they can glamour a painting to look better, they can create a fish tank with fish that appear to be swimming around. They can even use glamour to appear invisible. It's quite a remarkable thing and the fact that I can imagine it and it seems like it could be real means that the author did a brilliant job in describing how it's done without boring me! HUGE props to her for that!
This book takes place in Belgium rather then in England (other then the very beginning) and I appreciated the change in scenery. Also the manners over there are quite different from those in England and you really see how stuffy those British could be at that time. Most of the book is about Jane and Vincent learning some new techniques and then Jane discovering her own MAJOR discovery! It's not until the last quarter that the real action happens. Now the description tells you but for those who don't want to know I'm not going to say what this action is, but it definitely added to the story quite a lot and made me love Jane even more!
This is a clean read and while it reads for adults being as the characters are adults, it would work as a crossover for young adults who may enjoy the classics like Jane Austen or are interested in historical fiction books. I very highly recommend you pick this series up and give it a try!
Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes and all opinions expressed are my own, I was not paid or influenced in any way.