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Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories) Paperback – 6 Jun 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Reprint edition (6 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765325608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765325600
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.2 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,197,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"If Jane Austen had written a fantasy novel, Shades of Milk and Honey 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. Give this one a try!" --"RT Book Reviews," 4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!

"Readers will be disappointed only when they finish this enchanting story, which is suffused with genteel charm... With the grace of "Sense and Sensibility," a touch of classic fairy tale magic, and an action-packed ending, this debut novel by an award-winning fantasy short story writer will appeal to fans of Jane Austen, Jane Yolen, Patricia Wrede, Susannah Clarke, and even Jasper Fforde." --"Library Journal"

"Cliche as it might sound, if Jane Austen had sat down to pen a fantasy, this is the book she would have written. The tone, the cadence, the sweep, every bow and curtsey of the language is woven into "Shades of Milk and Honey.".. Kowal's mastery is the art of the Austenite nuance... When I reached the last page I just wanted to start it all over again. It left me craving nothing but a cup of Constant Comment...and the sequel." --"Intergalactic Medicine Show"

""

"A beautiful, lyrical, tightly-woven meld of Jane Austen, "Jane Eyre," and "Beauty and the Beast"--I couldn't put it down!" --Lilith Saintcrow

"Simply enchanting, and another great advance in an already impressive literary career. You're going to love this." --John Scalzi

"Shades of Milk and Honey is 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

"Kowal's first novel is a beautifully told story of being true: true to love, true to family, and true to art, even when it seems that one of them must give. It's a marvelous and promising debut, and hints at more wonders to come." --Cory Doctorow

If Jane Austen had written a fantasy novel, Shades of Milk and Honey 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. Give this one a try! "RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!"

Readers will be disappointed only when they finish this enchanting story, which is suffused with genteel charm With the grace of "Sense and Sensibility," a touch of classic fairy tale magic, and an action-packed ending, this debut novel by an award-winning fantasy short story writer will appeal to fans of Jane Austen, Jane Yolen, Patricia Wrede, Susannah Clarke, and even Jasper Fforde. "Library Journal"

Cliche as it might sound, if Jane Austen had sat down to pen a fantasy, this is the book she would have written. The tone, the cadence, the sweep, every bow and curtsey of the language is woven into Shades of Milk and Honey Kowal s mastery is the art of the Austenite nuance When I reached the last page I just wanted to start it all over again. It left me craving nothing but a cup of Constant Comment...and the sequel. "Intergalactic Medicine Show"

A beautiful, lyrical, tightly-woven meld of Jane Austen, "Jane Eyre," and "Beauty and the Beast"--I couldn't put it down! "Lilith Saintcrow"

Simply enchanting, and another great advance in an already impressive literary career. You're going to love this. "John Scalzi"

Shades of Milk and Honey is 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"

Kowal's first novel is a beautifully told story of being true: true to love, true to family, and true to art, even when it seems that one of them must give. It's a marvelous and promising debut, and hints at more wonders to come. "Cory Doctorow""

Book Description

Shades of Milk and Honey is the fantasy novel you've always wished Jane Austen had written. Full of wit, historical nuance, romantic entanglements and domestic magic, this is pure entertainment. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the growing family of books inspired by Jane Austen. The plot is an amalgam of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma”, with a little “Persuasion” thrown in. However the story becomes far more elaborate as it progresses, so that I was kept guessing until the end whether the heroine was going to end up with Mr Darcy or Mr Knightley (since it was clear from the outset that Captain Wentworth wasn’t in the running).

What saves this book from being just another Jane Austen imitation is the addition of “glamour”. This is an art form based, apparently, on plucking folds out of the ether and then working them to create sensory illusions. In the course of the book we gradually discover more about glamour, which is used not only to produce visual works of art, but also sounds and scents. It is a suitable occupation for young ladies along with drawing and music, and can be used to enhance both. It is clear that the author has developed the concept of glamour in great detail, even giving it a history, as there is a reference to a system of notation which already existed in Ptolemy’s day. However, there is no single explanation of glamour in the course of the novel, but rather hints and suggestions are dropped throughout the book, in the same way that in the fictional world it describes, glamour may add an additional touch to a painting or a piece of music.

The language and social mores are well done on the whole, although I noticed the occasional turn of phrase which, while it did not contain any words which might not have been used by the original Miss Austen, would probably not have appeared in that particular combination. I also doubt whether a lady of that era would have been called Melody or Joy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Shades of Milk and Honey is absolutely lovely. I picked this book up sometime in 2013, and only started reading it this December, which I declared ARC-free.

This is a tranquil, delicate and very beautiful read which I named one of my best reads of 2014. It's quietly charming, unhurried, and if you are a fan of Jane Austin, you are guaranteed to love it.

Jane is a 28-year-old spinster, plain, good-natured, ever so patient, and her only distinction is that she is extremely gifted self-taught glamourist with an exceptional taste. On the other hand, her younger sister, Melody, is a beautiful, vivacious, self-centered empty head, who keeps casting her designs on everyone who shows her even the slightest attention.

Enter Mr. Dunkirk (Mr.Darcy slash Mr. Bingley). He has a younger sister of shy, nervous disposition and with a scandalous past, whom Jane takes under her wing. Mr. Dunkirk secretly admires Jane who likes him in return but thinks that Melody is the subject of his attention because her sister fancies him very much.

If that is not confusing yet, enter Mr. Vincent (definitely Mr. Darcy material!). An exceptional glamourist, famous and well-sought, he is hired by a local socialite for a score of festivities.

Jane is absolutely enamoured with his art, but each encounter with sourly artist only rises their hackles, and both totally misunderstand each other until a whirlwind of dramatic events which leads to happily ever after for now.

This is an exquisite, gorgeous historical fantasy, and I can't wait to read anything else Miss Kowal has to offer! Highly recommended, utterly charming.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Regency romance in the style of Jane Austen, borrowing heavily from Pride and Prejudice, with a bit of Sense and Sensibility thrown in, but with a twist; the addition of magic. Magic in the form of glamour illusion, which is an accomplishment every young lady should have along with the ability to play the piano and paint water colours. Here we have the plain but accomplished elder sister, the pretty but spoilt younger sister, the handsome neighbour and possible hero with a young sister, the handsome but taciturn possible hero, and of course the handsome charming cad who turns all the young ladies heads, the slightly dippy mother, as per Austen. It's a nice enough read, but in my opinion the author spends too much time on explaining and describing the glamour illusions throughout the book and less on developing the actual plot. The other thing I found odd, was that the final chapter reads more like an epilogue where she ties everything up and explains what happens to the characters in the future. However, this is book one in a series, so why did she bother to do that?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a genteel 'Regency' style book with a dash of magic - imagine Pride & Prejudice with glamour. Imagine a world where as well as improving her sewing, painting and pianoforte, a young lady had to opportunity to decorate and embellish, with the help of glamours. Unfortunately, due to the times, this is only allowed in home (where it is encouraged) but never, for a lady, can it become anything else.

This is a world where ladies are still set to 'marry well', come out in Society and become spinsters if they are not married within a seemly time. Jane is roughly the age where she can be a chaperone, rather than being chaperoned, and she is quite content with this although she does have her eye set on someone. Unfortunately he seems rather more attracted to her sister, the beautiful Melody. However, as we all know, although the surface may be calm in these books, the passion runs deep. Before she knows it, Jane is at the heart of secrets and trying to do her best by everyone.

I thought this book was very well written, which characters that you can associate with. You are left guessing right until the end as to how this will work out for everyone. Mary Robinette Kowal has done a wonderful job of keeping the story moving along but still giving you time to adjust to the period in which it is set. A lovely light read perfect for any historical fiction fans out there.
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