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Glamour in Glass Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 10, 2012
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"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
Praise for Shades of Milk and Honey
2010 Nebula Nominee for Best Novel * SF Chronicle's Top 10 SF/F of 2010 * RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Fantasy Novel 2010
"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
“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
"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
“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.”
“A beautiful, lyrical, tightly woven meld of Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, and Beauty and the Beast—I couldn't put it down!”
"Simply enchanting, and another great advance in an already impressive literary career. You're going to love this."
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.
Top customer reviews
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. This would have the effect of allowing mass-production of glamour and use by unskilled people. In addition, if Mr. Vincent's Sphere Obscurcie, a form of invisibility, can be locked in glass, then glamour has a clear military use (pun intended).
The novel is written in the style of Jane Austen, so we get such lines as, "They were occupied for some minutes, then, with duties marital. To disturb their privacy would be indecorous." Despite that, there's plenty of action, especially in the last third of the book. In short, Mary Robinette Kowal has produced another wonderful book.
so I highly anticipated it's sequel.
This was a fairly enjoyable read.I especially love the flavor
of the words & how they are blended together to create an
atmosphere. The choice & assemblage of words,
as well as the imaginative concepts of glamour are beautifully
rendered into a fully fleshed "alternate reality".
It is no small thing to deftly layer these things together without
a seam showing, but that is what Kowal has done
This story picks up shortly after the last book ends
As Jane & Vincent are now married there is a good
bit about the benefits and challenges of married life.
So even though it is more than "discrete" by modern standards,
I would steer an unwed reader away from this.
As the story unfolded, I found myself laboring to keep
a hold of the trail of the story. History, politics and
plots got jumbled up in my head & I began to wonder
why there was so much jumbal in my path.
I had not expected to have the characters intersect with
anything remotely "real" in terms of history, so I was quite
unprepared & chagrined at my ignorance,which turned out
to be the real stumbling block.
In as much as I loathe books with impossibly attractive
people, I did find that the author did seem to mention Jane's
plainness a bit too frequently.
Juxtaposidly, the publisher has set a typical pretty looking girl
on the cover ! Shadows would have been more appropriate !
Since I had read #1, I very much enjoyed this one, and look forward to #3.
This is a bit more adventurous than #1: think Heyer rather than Austen, or some of the more adventurous modern Regency writers. Jane is a force to be reckoned with, and i love that. She is maybe not as skilled at glamour as her husband, but she has better instincts for theory- one of which is vital to the plot.
The world was very well-thought-out and depicted, as is the magical system. The characters were less well-drawn; whether Jane and David were at odds or in harmony seemed to be more relevant to the plot than to their personal relationship; it was sort of random off-again, on-again, with explanations made but for me they didn't work all that well, especially since Jane is prickly about David lying/omitting info other that she needs to know... and he does it anyway.
On a more practical note: I am getting really tired of authors misusing prepositional phrases. "Between he and I" is NOT correct, nor is any prepositional variant. This happened in #1, too, and tended to throw me out of the story. It's really not that hard! "Me" is not a Forbidden Word! and in a prepositional phrase, it IS the correct one.
That being said, the language in this was amazingly non-anachronistic, and I applaud the work she did to make that so. The plot was engaging, too.
I'm glad i read this, and look forward to reading #3.