- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
Shades of Milk and Honey (The Glamourist Histories) Paperback – 3 Oct 2013
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Glamourist Histories are comedies of manners and magic, and a whole new way of looking at an era that we only thought we knew before. (John Scalzi)
With magic, manners, mayhem, and no small measure of derring-do - the Glamourist Histories are everything you could wish for in a sleek, fashionable fantasy series. A shimmering adventure for history buffs and glamour enthusiasts alike. (Cherie Priest)
A beautiful, lyrical, tightly woven meld of Jane Austen, Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast - I couldn't put it down! (Lili St. Crow)
Shades of Milk and Honey could easily fit into Austen's canon... Kowal has captured both the style and content of an Austen novel, adding her own speculative fiction twist. Readers who enjoyed such novels as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell will find this novel appealing as well. (The Jane Austen Centre)
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)
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)
I love these books! They're an ideal mix between adventure, character, and magic. (Brandon Sanderson)
A delightful read, with an examination of the craft and emotion of art combined with deftly drawn characters, laugh-out-loud wit and a magical re-imagining of Georgian society. (SFX)
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.See all Product description
Customers who bought this item also bought
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The most interesting part of the book for me was the 'glamour'. The manipulation of glamour is seen as yet another skill that an accomplished young lady should master to help her be even more eligible, but they have to get the balance right - as with most things for women in history, too little or too much of anything is something they can be criticised for. For example, some women might use glamour to give themselves straighter teeth or a less crooked nose, but too much glamour will make them look unnatural and will make it obvious that they are using glamour.
Our heroine, Jane, is exceptionally talented at the manipulation of glamour but, not traditionally beautiful like her younger sister Melody, has failed to attract a husband. Now in her late twenties, Jane has resolved herself to spinsterhood and instead tries to help her sister find a husband. There was something very Elinor and Marianne about their relationship, and I liked that Kowal didn't do what I was expecting in regards to Melody; while Jane envies Melody her beauty, we also discover that Melody also admires Jane for her skills with glamour. Melody is pretty, but she's genuinely afraid that she might only attract a husband with her pretty face and have nothing else to offer him, or that she might attract the wrong kind of husband when she believes she has only her appearance to offer.
Having said that, I did grow a little tired of the amount of times Jane and Melody seemed to bicker about the same thing. I didn't expect them to resolve their issues instantly, but I would have liked to have seen them supporting each other a little more throughout the story, particularly as Melody seemed to become a little silly as the story wore on and I thought it was a shame she was reduced to that kind of stereotype.
What I liked most about the novel was how Kowal fit glamour into the Regency era. Magic is a power that comes from within and, such as in Harry Potter (for the most part), it can act as an equalizer between men and women. Women who are exceptionally talented at glamour shouldn't have to prescribe to the gender politics of Regency England, I wouldn't want to mess with someone who can literally alter the folds of the environment around me, but society has made women believe that they use these skills to attract a husband and thus take that agency away from them. Similarly, men who can use glamour well, such as Jane's Darcy-esque love interest Vincent, are praised as geniuses while women are dutiful and desirable.
Speaking of Vincent, while I did like him and Jane together I was hoping for something more. For me they seemed to fall in love very quickly, and I would have enjoyed something more drawn out. There were hints of some sizzling chemistry there but there wasn't quite enough there to make the romance anything but nice.
In fact I felt like the entire end of the book was rushed and a little too sickly sweet, but, ultimately, this book is a fun, harmless read. Is it outstanding? No. Do I want to carry on with the series? Yes, I think it's the glamour that really shines in this book rather than the characters and the plot, but as there are four more books in this series I have a feeling they'll both continue to develop. In fact I'm hoping that Kowal will also include more people in this series that Austen excluded from her own work, such as the working class, the LGBT+ community and ethnic minorities - especially as the Slavery Abolition Act wasn't passed in the UK until 1833.
Whether you're an Austen fan, a historical fiction fan or a fan of magic in books, I think this is a story that's worth checking out.
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.
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.