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Glamour in Glass (Glamourist Histories) Hardcover – April 10, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“The setting and the intricate techniques of glamour manipulation continue to intrigue, and the thoughtful portrayal of the difficulties of Jane and Vincent's affectionately nontraditional partnership is thoroughly engaging.” ―Publishers Weekly

“This is a wonderful book. Kowal has taken such care grounding her story in the time and place in which it's set that the addition of magic is truly seamless. Jane is a superb heroine.” ―RT Book Reviews

“Prepare to settle in and snuggle up in your comfiest chair; once you start reading, you won't want to stop.” ―Library Journal

“Will appeal to fans of Jane Austen, Jane Yolen, Patricia Wrede, Susanna Clarke, and even Jasper Fforde.” ―Library Journal on Shades of Milk and Honey

“Kowal sets her own mark on this kind of comedy of manners and creates a low-key and witty debut novel, one that succeeds through understated humor and sprightly prose, rather than through absurd juxtapositions of the historical and the supernatural.” ―San Francisco Chronicle on Shades of Milk and Honey

Shades of Milk and Honey could easily fit into Austen's canon, except of course for the inclusion of magic. Kowal has captured both the style and content of an Austen novel, adding her own speculative fiction twist...hits all the high points of Austen's dialogue and plotting while still having its own identity.” ―The Jane Austen Center on Shades of Milk and Honey

“If Jane Austen had written a fantasy novel, [this] would have been the result. Written with painstaking attention to detail, Kowal's prose is serenely evocative of the time period, and the fantastic elements are a seamless fit. The characterization is extremely well done and Jane is a sympathetic, strong and intelligent heroine whose devotion to her family trumps nearly every other concern.” ―RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ stars, Top Pick!, Seal of Excellence winner on Shades of Milk and Honey

“A lovely, smart, strange novel with everything on earth (and elsewhere) to recommend it. Smoothly crafted with a flair for romance and mystery, this story is one part meticulous manners and one part wild magic--composing a whole that's utterly irresistible.” ―Cherie Priest on Shades of Milk and Honey

“A beautiful, lyrical, tightly woven meld of Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, and Beauty and the Beast--I couldn't put it down!” ―Lilith Saintcrow on Shades of Milk and Honey

“Simply enchanting, and another great advance in an already impressive literary career. You're going to love this.” ―John Scalzi on Shades of Milk and Honey

About the Author

Mary Robinete Kowal was the 2008 recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and a Hugo winner for her story "For Want of a Nail." Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov's, and several Year's Best anthologies. Mary is an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and currently serves on the board of directors.
A professional puppeteer and voice actor, Mary grew up in North Carolina and spent five years touring nationally with puppet theaters. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Rob, and nine manual typewriters.


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Product Details

  • Series: Glamourist Histories (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition, First Printing edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765325578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765325570
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By Chris Gerrib, author of Pirates of Mars

Mary Robinette Kowal has a problem. The first line of her new novel Glamour In Glass somehow got cut out of the first edition. (For the record, the line is: There are few things in this world that can simultaneously delight and dismay in the same manner as a formal dinner party.) Despite that unfortunate glitch, I found Glamour In Glass simply spectacular.

The story is a loose sequel to her first novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, and is set in Regency England. This is, however, Regency England with a twist - there is a form of magic called "glamour" which allows people to create wonderful illusions. Kowal wanted a magic system that would be primarily reserved to women, so she had to invent something with limited practical use. So, her "glamours" are persistent but not practical. For example, one could create an illusion of a candle, but the candle would not be able to illuminate something.

At any rate, Mary's heroine, Jane Vincent, having been newly married to the noted "glamorist" David Vincent, starts the novel by being invited to a dinner party thrown by the Prince Regent. At this, she discovers that her husband plans to take her on a honeymoon to the Continent, now opened for travel due to Napoleon's defeat. So they end up staying in Binche, Belgium, a little town on the road to a place called Waterloo. In the spring and summer of 1815, as the reinstated Napoleon is marching his army north.

This setup creates great suspense, while providing a perfect excuse for Ms. Kowal to leave her characters in the dark. While we await Napoleon's arrival, the newlywed glamorists work on their skills, including an attempt by Jane to trap illusions in glass.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I am a man, (don't hold that against me) I am mostly a reader.
Having recently gone back and started rereading Jane Austin's works, along with many other classics,I also found myself yearning for something new, but with the same feel. Mary delivers.
The magic system is imaginative and well thought out, and the sense of history, (even if it has been played with a bit) comes through wonderfully.
While I don't claim to be a regency buff, I did enjoy the details that were presented in the book.
A wonderful follow up to the first book. I can't recommend the series highly enough. Shades of Milk and Honey

AND, as an extra special bonus, through a publishing error, the original first line of the book got left out of the book. This is your chance to get a copy of the first printing that is missing the line. A COLLECTORS ITEM!
But fear not, Mary has several ways to either get the first line back into the book, (correction sticker) or a bookmark with the original first line on it, (if you want to preserve the error) or a t-shirt, (so you can proclaim to the world that you are hip and more knowledgeable than the typesetter). Just visit her website. [...]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The precursor to this book, Shades of Milk and Honey is based on a simple premise: what if Jane Austen had magic? That book ended with a happily-ever-after, and now here we have a sequel based on a simple question: What happens after happily-ever-after?

Kowal takes her cast of Regency-era-mages ("glamourists" in her parlance, but let me have this one, okay?) and takes them to Belgium for The Hundred Days. History buffs will no doubt feel a tingle when they see Belgium and 1815, but as I am not one of those buffs, I spent a lot of this book wondering/dreading what would happen. The change in setting is reflective of Glamour in Glass: expanding the borders of the familiar Jane Austen world and, by proxy, expanding the borders of the familiar Jane Austen romance. Big questions and conflicts around England's isolation during the early 1815 are mirrored in Jane (not Austen, the main character's name is also Jane) and her personal conflicts and questions. She's a stranger in both a country and a marriage. How do you deal with a man whom your are madly in love with but don't actually know very well? How do you deal with pregnancy when it keeps you from engaging in the one pastime that gives your life purpose? What does pregnancy mean when there's a not-insignificant chance that it will result in your death? Speaking of which...

BEGIN RANT. I praised Kowal in my review of Shades... for treading lightly around feminism without ever crossing the fine line that divides "informative" from "preachy". She treads closer to the line in this volume, but narrowly avoids crossing it. Full disclosure: I am all for feminism, but I find it to be a boring rallying cry in books that take place in the distant past.
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Format: Hardcover
In 1815, newlyweds Jane and David Vincent travel to Blinche, Belgium on a working honeymoon paid for by a glamour commissioned by the Regent. The couple plans to compare magical glamour techniques with a colleague of David, M. Chastain and create a glass container to hold glamour inside.

However, their idyll collapses when David ignores his new wife and excludes her on a paying gig. At the same time Napoleon returns from Elba, trapping visitors in France and its neighbors like Belgium. Feeling isolated, Jane wants to go home alone, but soon finds herself in peril and David is locked away as agents of Bonaparte want to deploy the Vincents (and other adepts) magical skills in the pending battlefield.

The second Glamour regency fantasy (see Shades of Milk and Honey) is a charming espionage thriller starring an unconfident heroine who still thinks of herself as a plain-looking twenty-eight years old jealous of her beautiful sister Melody's looks; so she expects to lose her husband to a real glamorous woman. The exciting storyline continues to provide details to glamour application methodology, but less of the science and more of the practical. Combining an unsure female lead with Napoleon back in town, fans will be spellbound by Glamour mage Mary Robinette Kowal.

Harriet Klausner
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