Mary Robinette Kowal stunned readers with her charming first novel Shades of Milk and Honey, a loving tribute to the works of Jane Austen in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence. This magic comes in the form of glamour, which allows talented users to form practically any illusion they can imagine. Shades debuted to great acclaim and left readers eagerly awaiting its sequel.
Glamour in Glass continues following the lives of beloved main characters Jane and Vincent, with a much deeper vein of drama and intrigue.In the tumultuous months after Napoleon abdicates his throne, Jane and Vincent go to Belgium for their honeymoon. While there, the deposed emperor escapes his exile in Elba, throwing the continent into turmoil. With no easy way back to England, Jane and Vincent’s concerns turn from enjoying their honeymoon…to escaping it.Left with no outward salvation, Jane must persevere over her trying personal circumstances and use her glamour to rescue her husband from prison . . . and hopefully prevent her newly built marriage from getting stranded on the shoals of another country’s war.
NOTE: If you haven’t read Shades of Milk and Honey, there are spoilers ahead!
Historical With A Twist
Pushy: Last Week, Heather and I reviewed the first book in this series, Shades of Milk and Honey, where we first encountered Ms. Kowal’s world: a rebooted version of the Regency era where illusion is practiced as an art form in the drawing rooms of London and by proper young ladies in country estates. When I finished reading Shades of Milk and Honey, Glamour in Glass was the very next book I picked up. Slipping back into this world, returning to watch the continuing adventures of Jane and her new husband was a pure pleasure and I adored ever moment I spent with this book.
Heather: Even though it took me a bit to warm up to Shades of Milk and Honey, the last half of the book was full of action and excitement. This really made me excited for Glamour in Glass. But I had another book to read in between these two, and once I cracked open this one, I was so glad that Glamour in Glass started off on an exciting note and galloped all the way to the finish. There was no catching your breath in this one!
Turning the Screw
Pushy: This second book in the series definitely amps up the action, both internal and external. On the smaller scale, Jane and Vincent need to find out how they will work together as a married couple. Both of them have such strong personalities, both of them are so loathe to admit any weakness, that it was interesting to see how they would meld together into a cohesive unit. But by the end of this book, it’s clear that they’re relationship is rock solid and going to be the foundation for a wonderful life together.
On the larger scale, it was fascinating to watch them live through the events of Napoleon’s escape from Elba and his return to power. The tension of the people of Brussels around this time, both those in favor of the emperor’s return and those definitely opposed, was an interesting prism through which to observe the Vincents’ friends and acquaintances in Brussels. Plus I ADORE historical dramas, so all of this was like icing on the cake for me!
Heather: I totally agree, Pushy! I also loved Jane’s struggles with the differences in how ladies behave in London society versus on the continent. While Jane wants to speak more of her mind, she often has to bite her tongue because it’s what she’s been raised to do, and she finds that women’s roles are much different in European society. It’s very clear that Jane’s skill with glamour is very advanced and is increasing quickly, but she is flourishing because she is working with her husband. Their working relationship, while beneficial to both of them, gives Jane an opportunity to not only shine, but to also become an innovator in the glamour arts. While society doesn’t want her to step to the forefront and be in the spotlight since she is a woman, Vincent certainly will not stand by and take the credit for her ideas and inventions.
Twice as Good
Pushy: While I definitely enjoyed Shades of Milk and Honey, Glamour in Glass was phenomenal! Right from the start the emotional tension is there. I loved watching Jane and Vincent grow as a couple and I loved the history mixed with magic. I could not put this book down!
Heather: Glamour in Glass had me hooked from the first page. The newness of their marriage was so realistic, especially with their dealings with the in-laws and how they were still getting to know each other. I raced through this installment and I cannot wait for the third book!
Pushy: Action and drama combine into a rollicking tale of magic, history and the endurance of love. *sigh*
Heather: The stakes were high from the beginning, and Mary Robinette Kowal did an excellent job of creating a journey for Jane and Vincent packed with adventure, tension, and emotional turmoil.
We both loved this book SO MUCH that we want to put it into your hands as well! SO….it’s contest time! Just enter via the widget below! And if we’d love it if you let us know what about this book most intrigues you in the comments below!