28 January, 2016


Title: Shades of Milk and Honey
Author: Mary Robinette Kowal
Series: Glamourist Histories #1
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Physical copy
Pages: 306

Add to GoodReads

PLOT SUMMARY: Shades of Milk and Honey is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth, a woman ahead of her time in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality. But despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester’s society are not that different: Jane and her sister Melody’s lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men.

Jane resists this fate, and rightly so: while her skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face, and therefore wins the lion’s share of the attention. At the ripe old age of twenty-eight, Jane has resigned herself to being invisible forever. But when her family’s honor is threatened, she finds that she must push her skills to the limit in order to set things right--and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

This debut novel from an award-winning talent scratches a literary itch you never knew you had. Like wandering onto a secret picnic attended by Pride and Prejudice and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Shades of Milk and Honey is precisely the sort of tale we would expect from Jane Austen…if only she had been a fantasy writer.

So one of the booktubers recommended this book as a mix of Jane Austin and magic and I just had to get it. I love Jane Austin and having magic it was beyond awesomeness to me.

THE WORLD:  In this book we travel to older times when women were praised for their beauty and talent in music and arts. Their only purpose of life was to fine a nice and wealthy man and have a beautiful family. Just like in Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice, the book is set in country suburbs were balls are the highest entertainment. However, another thing exists in this world and that is glamour. It is really pulling the strings of ether and adjusting the against the light that creates the illusion of warmness and beauty. But it is not over hyped, it just treated as a form of art and not to make oneself beautiful, as a matter of fact one girl was trying to cover her terrible teeth with glamour and that was looked at as something inappropriate. All in all, I really loved the world, being again in Jane Austin type of world was really making me warm all over and having that addition of glamour...ah what a perfection.

CHARACTERS: The centre of the book are two sisters, the older one being very talented but looking as a average type of girl and the younger one being a impressive beauty but absolutely empty beyond that. The older sister is named Jane (what a pretty simple name) and she knows she is most likely not going to find a husband. Therefore, she spends all her time in arts at which she is excellent to the point that people around know about her talents. The gentlemen present in this book are a few. Mr Dunkirk is a man who is looking for a wife but instead of a beauty he want a talented woman who would not bore him. He is rather nice and likable to the point when his younger sister arrives and he becomes rather extreme and obsessive. Then there is Captain Livingston who is really Mr Wickham of Pride and Prejudice and well...nobody likes Mr Wickham. And then we get Mr Vincent aka Mr Darcy. Well...I love Mr Darcy but I very much love Mr Vincent too, I like how he is portrait in this book, such man would interest me in place of Jane as well.

In general, I liked the little difference withing the characters in comparison to Pride and Prejudice. I found Jane a little bit more lovable that Liz and the little sister was not as terrible as Lydia. Plus, I really liked how it went with Mr Dunkirk who well from his position would have been Mr Darcy and then you really see that it is not exactly the same story.

LOVE: Now because it already kinda says on the back of the book that Jane and Mr Vincent get together, I really loved their romance. They really fit each other perfectly.

PLUS: This book is the first in the series but at the end the reader is given a choice: you can finish now or you can continue with the series. The thing is, it kinda says in last few pages that they lived happily ever after but then you see the next books in the series and they are about Jane and Mr Vincent too, so I think that was brilliant what author did. And yes, I am very much continuing with this series.

MINUS: The parents of Jane...they are just like in Pride and Prejudice and can be summarized basically in one word - stupid. Now, the father of Jane is not as bad as was Mr Bennet with still, very annoying. And don't get me started on the mother. You can see the reason divorce became popular eventually.

OVERALL: It took me a little bit longer to read this book that expected because it has this chunk of text sometimes rather than dialogues but in the end I am happy about it because I felt like all was very well explained and did not feel forced. Plus, as a fan of Pride and Prejudice I appreciate this book even more for it hitting right at the point. I know there rather a few books that are similar to Pride and Prejudice but I never read any that were so on point and still refreshing. And that glamour...just what I needed. So yes, cannot get my hands on the next book!


What did you think of SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY?