Valour and Vanity (Shades #4)
By Mary Robinette Kowal
Tor, 2014. 408 pages. Science fiction.
Sir David and Lady Vincent are off to Venice in Kowal's latest Regency fantasy adventure, hoping to combine their glamour skills with the artistry of Venice's glassblowers to make a device for the British throne that will protect soldiers in battle. But their adventure gets off to a bad beginning when they are set upon by pirates and left destitute. Will Vincent and Jane be able to redeem their reputations, reclaim their money, and still succeed in their mission to the Crown?
From the first book in this series, the idea of a fantasy set in Regency England has fascinated me, but I'll admit that the series has been hit or miss for me. I picked up the latest book simply because I really did enjoy the third book and hoped that she could carry it into the fourth. The book started slowly, but by the end I found I was caught up in the plot at last. The details of glamour working are still over my head and I find myself skimming through a lot of the technical aspects of what is going on, but overall, it is a fun read for either someone who loves Regency literature or well thought out sci-fi/fantasy, as long as the reader goes in knowing that they may have to work a little to get the payoff in the end.