Jane Austen with magic, but don't let that put you off - this is not Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, it is its own unique story.
In addition to..Show More » painting and music, a young lady is expected to have mastered the art of glamour, to entertain guests and to decorate their home. In a plot owing a lot to Sense and Sensibility, yet having enough originality to keep it interesting, Kowal has woven a nineteenth century tale of love, talent, and manners. Jane is a plain spinster of 28, talented yet convinced that she is unlikely to ever find a husband, and resigned to this. Her sister Melody is everything she isn't: pretty, untalented, headstrong, and not very bright. Melody attracts trouble like bees to honey, and it is up to Jane to sort out the trouble while staying as proper as possible - and maybe finding her own happiness.
Mary Robinette Kowal does a good job of narrating, if you are concerned (as I usually am) about an author narrating their own work, put your concerns to rest: Kowal narrates professionally as well. I would give five stars for narration, except that she does not have a native English accent, and it sounded a bit forced at times - but it was consistent and easy on the ear, and she did a good job differentiating the characters.
Mary Robinette Kowal's first entry in this series, Shades of Milk and Honey, was a very standard regency romance with a very fun and genre appropriate..Show More » magic system. It channeled Jane Austen very effectively, but stayed so close to the Pride and Prejudice formula that, while very enjoyable, was also fairly predictable.
Glamour in Glass keeps the regency voice and style, but ventures out of the drawing room into an adventure that is more Dumas than Austen. The result is charming, exciting, and sometimes touching. The author's prose and storytelling has improved noticeably from her last book, which was still very well written but slightly more forced.
As in Shades of Milk and Honey, the author herself narrates the book. She does quite well with both her British and French accents - at least my untrained ear was not bothered by either. I found the performance to be very pleasant.
While regency fantasy isn't the genre I would normally pick up, I would happily recommend this to any fantasy fan who doesn't require dark, moody environments and angsty endings. Happy listening!
I would recommend this book to a friend, if that friend has read at least one of the previous two books in the series. I hope that the author continu..Show More »es with this series because I am hooked; she's doing a very good job of incorporating real world events into a fantasy setting.
What I liked: character development of Jane and Vincent. Melody also had her moments as well. About halfway through this book I finally understood why Vincent is such a debbie downer, which was very rewarding.
What I didn't like: I would have liked more glamour. One of the reasons why I find this series so fascinating is the whole 'Jane Austin with Magic' thing. In this story the glamour used by the coldmongers moved the plot off screen and rarely on screen. The author has developed a beautiful form of magic and it's a shame that so much of the coldmonger glamour was off screen.
Net total, this was a good book because it brought more emotional depth to all the main characters.
Mary Robinette Kowal is an experienced audiobook narrator as well as a gifted writer. She also works another of her creative talents, as a puppeteer, ..Show More »into the novel's plot. The storyline is built on the witty premise that two highly skilled illusionists find themselves cozened by con artists who excel at making people believe in false appearances. The Vincents quickly find themselves far from home in Italy with no funds at hand and no fortune at all after the thieves clean out their bank accounts. Yet not all hope is lost: Jane finds help at a local convent among nuns who are indignant when they learn of the couple's plight, and several plucky characters prove to be capable allies when the illusionists undertake a daring plan to trick the tricksters and bring them to justice. Reading the previous books would be advisable to understand references made in the novel to past events. This is another enjoyable addition to the series.
As this is the 5th book in this series, I came to it with many expectations. I can honestly say that every one was met, surpassed, and left me wonderi..Show More »ng why I had sold the book's potential so short.
By several chapters in I was already going on about the narration--wonderful. I was surprised by the inclusion of other narrators since Mary Robinette Kowal has done the work by herself for all of the previous books, but the performance was so smooth that I easily lost myself in the narrative.
I felt myself drawn into this story, feeling the heartaches and frustrations as though they were my own. I was moved to furious rage and felt desperate powerlessness as well as wonder and joy. In short, I was transported into this story like few I've ever experienced. I laughed out loud and was moved to tears. I stopped in the middle of chapters to bug my wife with the "amazing thing" I'd just read.
There is so much I want to say about this story, but I don't want to give away spoilers, and I don't have space to write so much here. And I'd much rather you read the book for yourself than listen to me talk about it.
I HIGHLY recommend this book! Of Noble Family is easily one of the best books I've ever read. I love it!