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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2012 Mary Robinette Kowal (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Glamour in Glass

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

No longer regency romance, but great nonetheless

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 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!

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I rolled my eyes & wanted to slap the protagonist.

Glamour in Glass left me incredibly frustrated after a promising beginning. I liked so much about the first half of it, but the second half was riddled with all the weaknesses of Shades of Milk and Honey. And unlike Shades, which at least had a satisfying ending, it offered a culmination clumsily executed and much too convenient.

The trouble, I think, came from the author's seeming inability to know just what to make of her story. Is it meant to be a domestic drama about early married life? A tale about magical innovation? A Napoleonic spy caper? The author's indecision made for awkward pacing, and as the focus shifted to the intrigue surrounding Napoleon's return to France, she fumbled the remaining plot threads.

Early on, I really did like how she portrayed the everyday adjustments and struggles to communicate inherent in a new marriage - not a territory much explored in romance novels. I thought Jane & Vincent's love for one another, their difficulties and their mistakes were written very realistically. At first, Jane's pregnancy added to the effectiveness of the portrayal. The author was brave to show a woman's ambivalence at the possibility of becoming a mother as well as her excitement.

Unfortunately, the pregnancy became a tedious burden later on, because of this world's rule that women "with child" must not work glamour. The reasons for this precaution were never explained and didn't make sense in a society valuing glamour as a "womanly art." The prohibition took Jane off center stage, and just as in Shades, the story slowed to a snail's pace. The author needs to stop spending so much time in Jane's head, because her insecurities and constant worries - about her attractiveness, her worth, her husband's love - become insufferable to the point I wanted to scream at her, "Get over yourself, already!"

About two-thirds of the way through, I was still wondering when the story would kick into high gear. It finally did - only to offer a clumsily executed spy plot that read like Trixie Belden does espionage.

Honestly, I rolled my eyes at one improbable development after another, until I just wanted the book to end. Everything worked out for the "good guys" MUCH too easily, with their enemies conveniently behaving in improbable ways (even though Jane and Vincent themselves wandered into Too Stupid to Live territory).

The author's narration compared to Shades was weak also, as she forgot to keep track of who should speak with which accent. She sometimes neglected to give French-speaking characters any accent at all.

I will eventually listen to the third book in this series, as I've already downloaded it as a freebie from an Audible sale. But I definitely plan on taking a break from this world - long enough to forget the bad taste this book left in my mouth.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Better than the first book

Unlike the first book in the series, this is not a regency era romance novel. I don't generally like books with strong romance components, so I found this story to be better than the first in the series. I liked the regency setting and the Napoleonic references.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting and unexpected

Where does Glamour in Glass rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I don't really know how to rank this. I've read a huge variety of books.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I would guess that Ms. Vincent is my favorite. I loved the turn the book took towards the end with her use of the glass sphere. I don't want to give too much away, but I did really like it.

Which character – as performed by Mary Robinette Kowal – was your favorite?

Well, with me, I don't really separate that. It's the same thing. When the audio performance matches how I think the character moves in my imagination I really like it and flock to that character. So the answer would be the same as above. Ms. Vincent.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. I was laughing at some of the mannerisms and "impropriety" that the book references often, and was able to see how some aspects of it were understandable. I also was able to relate to being in new circumstances and having things that once were "improper" to me sort of become diminished and change as I changed. Just like the main character, Jane.

Any additional comments?

I really really liked the twist towards the end. I liked some of the ways that magic and glamours were represented in this book. I really hope that this author decides to expand more on that and give us some other adventures. I also liked some of the social/situational experiences that the book showed. It would be difficult being in another country as a visitor when there was war or something close.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

story is ok, so is the narration

I liked the parts in this one about the theory and practice of glamour. Felt it could have been pushed more. Or other ways in which glamour could be used explored further.

Jane and Vincent a good lead characters. I liked that their partnership was developed further here (as I had their relationship in the 1st series was a bit rushed). I enjoyed their relationship in this book much better. And I appreciated that them being married never equated to their relationship being taken for granted and that there was no further they could go.

The narration was a bit weak sometimes. The voice too soft to hear (had to keep rewinding to hear what was being said). Also, sometimes the voices were not distinct enough.

I will read the rest of the series, for sure.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, bad narration

What made the experience of listening to Glamour in Glass the most enjoyable?

I've enjoyed the series. It's light, but enjoyable summer reading. The characters are fun to follow.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jane is a lively and interesting character, but I think she is too down on herself. It's the most oft-putting characteristic, but appropriate for the era.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mary Robinette Kowal?

The narrator's foreign accents seemed to have been honed at the Rooney-Yunioshi School of Bad and Racist Portrayals of Foreigners.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Story!

I loved this charming tale of love and the lovers battle for their self esteem as they heroically save the day! They come to learn that their love will never fail them and nothing can tear them apart. Great historical romance in the style reminiscent of Jane Austin and beautifully read by the author. Highly recommend.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible narrator!

The narrator's accents are just awful, like laughably awful. The plot is weak, and almost worst of all, the ending is all of a sudden in the middle of a scene with absolutely no closure or anything. Nothing resembling the end of a story. It is like the word usage minimum was fulfilled, and the book ends abruptly. I liked the first one, but this was nowhere near as good.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better Than the First One

Thank goodness the terrible fake British accent is gone from the narration, this time reserved just for the main characters. Also gone is the heavy winking to motifs from Jane Austen and other classic Regency novels. This story was more intense than the first, which made it faster paced.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful, touching, and I could not get enough.

Having listened to and enjoyed the first book in the series a few years ago, I decided it was time to continue the series. After finishing this book, my regret is that I didn't do so earlier. Now, let me highlight a few things about this book.

1. Mary Robinette Kowal narrates the book herself, which for most authors would be a negative, but she is an amazing and highly sought after narrator. My only difficulty with the narration is that I am also a fan of the October Daye series which she also narrates, so I sometimes feel I am hearing from one of those characters, but this is a fault with me and not the narration.

2. In the first book of the series, I at times felt I was reading Jane Austen, but with explanations of regency England slipped in for a modern audience. While I think that may have been neccessary, it did pull me out of the story at times. In this novel, some explanations remain, but they now seem to have more emotional importance for the character. and so do not pull me out of the story. An example is when the author uses Jane's agitation with how the court women treat her to explain gender roles at regency parties work.

3. Often when a period novel contains a strong female character that doesn't completely abide by gender norms but is super accomplished, the world focuses on her not meeting gender norms. I loved that when Jane violated gender norms to accomplish something awesome, the characters of the world were more impressed with her accomplishments than offended by her subversion of gender norms.

4. Finally, I loved the relationship of the main characters. They might be my favorite novel couple. I especially liked the way the author dealt with the marital situation that arose during the climax of the novel.


Glamour in Glass was a marked improvement over an already strong first novel in this series.


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  • Maike
  • 05-09-14

The performance really distracted from the story.

I enjoyed listening to "Shades of Milk and Honey", so I went on and got "Glamour in Glass" as well. In terms of the story, the book is entertaining, the characters interesting. But I found the poor performance really distracting in this volume. The narrator's put-on British accent was already a bit hard to swallow in the first volume. "Glamour in Glass" is set in large part in Belgium, with short passages entirely in French, and long passages in fake French accent. The pronounciation of both was really, really poor to the point that it distracted from the story in a big way.
I thought I could ignore it, but now I think I'd have been better off reading the book, instead of listening to it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-18-18

love it

love it. could not stop listening to it . great performance love all different voices