Book Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (Three Stars)


Book Review: Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal

(Three Stars)

“There are few things in this world that can simultaneously delight and dismay in the same manner as a formal dinner party.”

Disappointing. I like Jane Austen; I like structured magic; I like historical fiction; I like the writing of Mary Robinette Kowal. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a bit. Kowal follows too closely in the footsteps of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, even to the characters and plot. What Austen lacked in horizon she made up in clarity of describing the world of rural Regency daughters. This book rings false because it is too self-conscious. (Subsequent Glamourist Histories, more properly historical fantasy, are richer and more enjoyable.)

“Jane plucked the fold [of glamour] from the shelf and held it out to Miss Dunkirk, the light dripping in strands of gold that would have made Rumpelstiltskin proud.”

If Jane is so plain, who are the beautiful women gracing the covers of this series? Marketing cares little about authenticity, but it is deceptive.

“This same satisfaction came to her when she was trying to understand a particularly complicated bit of glamour or piece together the answer to a charade; puzzles in all their forms fascinated her.”

Skim this book and enjoy the rest of the series–so much better.

“One must not put trust in novelists, Beth; they create worlds to fit their own needs and drive their characters mad doing it.”

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (Three Stars)

  1. Not a fan of historical fantasy usually they’re romance novels.. Rather read straight history. Or really good fantasy. Romance novels aren’t very well written. My viewpoint. Thanks.

    • This IS a romance, and you already know the plot. The following books are much better–both as historical fiction and as fantasy.

Comments are closed.