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Publisher's Summary

Jane and Vincent have finally gotten some much-needed rest after their adventures in Italy - then Vincent receives word that his estranged father has passed away on one of his properties in the West Indies. His brother, who manages the estate, is overwhelmed, and no one else in his family can go. Grudgingly, out of filial duty, the couple decide to go.

The sea voyage is long, and Jane spends enough time unable to perform glamour that toward the end of the trip she discovers she is with child. They are overjoyed, but when they finally arrive at the estate to complete what they expect to be routine legal tasks, they realize that nearly everything they came expecting to find was a lie. Also the entire estate is in disarray, with horrifying conditions and tensions with the local slave population so high, they are close to revolt. Jane and Vincent's sense of peril is screaming out for them to flee, but Vincent cannot stand to leave an estate connected with his family in such a condition. They have survived many grand and terrifying adventures in their time, but this one will test their skills and wits more than any they have ever encountered before, this time with a new life hanging in the balance.

Mary Robinette Kowal's Of Noble Family is the final book of the acclaimed Glamourist Histories.

©2015 Mary Robinette Kowal (P)2015 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

How to ruin a good audio series

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Mary Robinette Kowal has narrated all prior books in this series, and they've been great. What possessed anyone to change the presentation to a performance is beyond me. The male narrator ............. talks ......... like this ...... and ....... it's really ............. annoying. The handoff between character voices isn't particularly smooth either.

It was really difficult to persevere through this book and it's a disappointing latest installment to the series. I don't think I could get through another one like this.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Masterpiece!

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 wondering 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!

And if you haven't read the first four, do that!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The mens voices had too much Shatner for me

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The, pausing, was, , , , insufferable. Ms. Kowal's performance was wonderful as usual. Luckily that was a good portion of the book. By the end, I don't know if it had gotten better or I was just used to it by then, the men's voices weren't so bad.

Do you think Of Noble Family needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I would love to hear how little Charles grows up and what he does with his life. Does he ever become Lord Verbury or not because his father was disowned?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent save for male narrator's voice

When I first started listening I almost stopped because the male narrator was so distracting, awkward and out of place with the rest of the audio series.
I stuck it out because all previous books had been so excellent. I was eventually able to overlook the disappointing casting choice and ended up quite satisfied despite the fact that I still find his voice ill-suited to the role. Mary Kowal does wonderful as usual. The other woman's voice was superb as well. Story was very well told, captivating, and emitted powerful emotion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best one yet

I adore this series. MRK pulled out all the stops for this one. Her twists were brilliant. She had me weeping with joy and sadness. Jane and Vincent are two of my favorite characters. And while I'm sad to see the end of this series, the journey with them has been wonderful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best One Yet!

This book was by far the best in the series. I liked the first book very much because of the uniqueness of the story line. The rest of the series grew with each book. It took me awhile though to get used to men's voices in this book. Most of the time the voice was too slow. Especially when compared to the female voices. This book is definitely filled lots of drama and intrigue. Great listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Second lady narrator, hard to hear

I very much enjoyed this book but I had a very hard time hearing and understanding Robin Miles. I don't believe it was the accent just the tenor and tone of the voice. I usually had to turn up the volume extremely loud during her sections and quickly back down after someone else started speaking so I didn't go deaf. I was a little disappointed with the male narration. At the beginning of the book, I found it very stilted. It seemed to get better as the book progressed but I don't know if that's because I got used to it or because he was doing better.

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An utterly lovely end to the Vincents' story

I'm extremely saddened to have to leave Jane & Vincent, but this was such an utterly lovely end to their journey and story.
This book ties up many of the threads left throughout the series from how/why Vincent fell in love with Jane, more understanding of Vincent's childhood and upbringing, the miscarriage from Book 2, more expansion and refinement of Glamour as a magical system and maturation of a marriage. It also is another foray into a notable social issue of the time (slavery) so props to Mary for managing to hit different societal issues for each book that are of the past but relevant to today.

I was a little disconcerted originally because Mary added two narrators to this audiobook, versus her alone. One for all the male voices (which was EXTREMELY confusing for Vincent initially) and one for the female slave characters. I vastly appreciated the fact that since both additional narrators would be reading mostly Slaves that Mary worked with two amazing Voice Actors of Color (Prentice Onayemi] & [Robin Miles). Both were able to bring more authenticity to the novel and the voice of the characters.

I would note for anyone expecting or a recent mother this book may leave you blubbering.

SPOILERS AHEAD
The long awaited pregnancy after the miscarriage begins and dominates the book since it dominates Jane. And because Vincent's father is still alive, Vincent has to face his past and fears as to the father he could become based on what his father has done.
The causal rape and resulting children of slaves by the masters is disgusting and well handled.
I loved the introduction of the idea that European Glamour is limited and that there is so much more. I also loved Nicaruga (spelling because audiobook means I have no idea what the spelling is) and her standing up for herself after so much had been stolen from slaves. It is unlikely, but a lovely note that books were likely written by well meaning white men/women without crediting the African slave who shared their knowledge.
Lord Verberry continues to be an absolute evil man and I hate him and am glad he is dead. Again. For sure this time.
Also, Mary is an EVIL EVIL EVIL author and narrator because she took advantage of the PoV switch from Jane to Vincent to change the narration to Prentice and I was extremely upset that Jane might actually die. It was unnerving and effective and intolerable.

I'm so very sad my time with Sir David Vincent & Lady Vincent has come to an end.

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Love this series detail of this world is perfect

Kowal's details of the world was meticulous and enthralling. Addressing sensitive subjects with great care.

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Wonderful story, different narration

Just like the rest, great story and interesting commentary about race in this era.

The only drawback for me was the introduction of different narrators. It might have been because MRK can't or shouldn't do Antiguan accents, but she used to do Vincent just fine! I found it jarring, largely because the male voice actors spoke very slowly with big strange gaps in their sentences. Also, the volumes were different, and it seemed particularly weird during extended dialogue.

Still worth listening to and enjoying if you like others in this series!