Shades of Milk and Honey
By Mary Robinette Kowal
Tor, 2010. 304 pgs. Fantasy.
Ever wonder why all those women fainted back in Regency England? Little did you know it was because of over exertion while weaving glamours. In Mary Robinette Kowal’s alternate version of Jane Austen’s England, a lady must be able to weave the subtlest of glamours into her home and personage in order to be considered truly talented. It must not be anything too garish, just simple things like making the fire glow a little brighter or swaying trees in a painting.
Jane and Melody are two sisters hoping to make advantageous marriages, but Jane has all the talent and Melody has all the beauty. When Jane discovers that one of Melody’s suitors is a scoundrel set on taking advantage, she uses her skills to try and set things right. However, Jane still doesn’t believe her talents are enough to attract a match and almost overlooks the love of a man right in front of her.
This is a quick, fun read. I enjoyed the fantastical elements mixed in with Jane Austen type characters. However, I felt the concept was better than the actual results.