Mary Robinette Kowal
- Title: Shades of Milk and Honey
- Author: Mary Robinette Kowal
- ISBN: 9780765325600
- Page: 354
- Format: Paperback
Shades of Milk and Honey is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth, a woman ahead of her time in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality But despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester s society are not that different Jane and her sister Melody s lives still revolve around vying foShades of Milk and Honey is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth, a woman ahead of her time in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality But despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester s society are not that different Jane and her sister Melody s lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men Jane resists this fate, and rightly so while her skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face, and therefore wins the lion s share of the attention At the ripe old age of twenty eight, Jane has resigned herself to being invisible forever But when her family s honor is threatened, she finds that she must push her skills to the limit in order to set things right and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.This debut novel from an award winning talent scratches a literary itch you never knew you had Like wandering onto a secret picnic attended by Pride and Prejudice and Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell, Shades of Milk and Honey is precisely the sort of tale we would expect from Jane Austen if only she had been a fantasy writer.
Recent Comments "Shades of Milk and Honey"
This book is like Jane Austen's works in the way that a genetically modified out-of-season greenhouse tomato is like a cherry. Sure, they're technically both classified as fruits. They're red. They're juicy-looking. They're attractive. The difference is that when you bite into said GMO tomato, it tastes like mealy, mushy, tasteless crap. This book is the equivalent of a limp, tasteless slice of tomato on a McDonalds' hamburger. Why bother? You're just going to pick it off and throw it away anywa [...]
Thank you, brian tanabe!Have you ever slapped someone, good and hard? I can still remember the one and only time I did, the anger boiling up and over, the near involuntary windup of the arm and spring-loaded swing-through, the crack of the hand on the offender's cheek, the numb and then sting in the palm, the blipping rush of incredible satisfaction instantaneously followed by a gushing of fear and guilt? Yeah. It felt good and solid before the last fear and guilt part. I still remember all that [...]
So there were many nice things in this book. The Austin-esque plot was interesting, and the main character and her relationship with her sister was layered, I really think the character was well-drawn and the best thing about the book. Her POV as the "plain" sister was written from a very real place.I guess I just ached for a bit more complexity, with the plot (and romance) and the world-building. There's some VERY interesting magic conceits here, and I just wanted a bigger scope. I think the au [...]
This was an incredibly frustrating book. The charm of Austen lies in the style of writing: light, witty, insightful, elegant, and able to skewer Regency life at a moment's notice. And while "Shades of Milk and Honey" makes sure to pack in plenty of Regency manners and swooning, the writing style is so jarring that I ended up reading passages aloud to other people, just to confirm that they really did make no damn sense.The author reuses words at an amazing pace -- frequently the same word is rep [...]
This very talented writer has written a Regency romance that features a few of Jane Austen's spellings, adding in a truly nifty magical system. Unfortunately, the magic seems little integrated with the world, having almost no impact on the culture. The comparison with Jane Austen might sell books, but that's also kind of a high bar. This story feels more like a Regency romance, without much of Austenesque irony or complication of character; on the other hand, it is not a retread of Georgette Hey [...]
I love Jane Austen and I love fantasy, so you would think this book, which mixes the two, would be right up my alley, especially since it was written by a Hugo Award-winning author. Can't miss! and yet, somehow, it does. Superficially it's a very Austenesque tale, but it lacks the wit, charm and complexity of Austen and the better Regency writers. Jane is the plain older sister with all the talent in the family: art, music and magic. But at age 28, she feels like she's fated to become a spinster [...]
Romance and Regency go hand in hand, but then, so does Art.All the most talented ladies are skilled in the art of subterfuge and seeming, are they not?Well, not Jane. She's conflicted about using Glamour and refuses to make herself seem more pretty than she is, while also being rather more talented than the rest of her family. Sure, its a common thing to know and use Glamour in the Regency era. Didn't you know? Magic is real, and no only can you create wonderful murals and play wonderful music w [...]
*4.5 stars*Perfect for fans of Jane Austen that want the added flair of magic. The characters fill the typical Austen tropes, with their own spin. A lovely story for any fan of the Regency period.
Good God, I resent this book so much for not being awesome. Georgette Heyer put me in the mood for another regency, and combine that with fantasy? Sold.I want a refund. The Heyer danced along, sparkly with charm; this book plodded, leaving me with an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia and boredom at the shallowness and banality and insipidity of well-to-do country life. The conversation didn’t sparkle wittily, it clunked. And the heroine was frankly too stupid to keep breathing.Mostly though [...]
3 starsReview to comeThis was a decent regency romance. With no smut.A few things I think could be improved upon. But overall a solid read.I would really like to see the magic elements of this become a lot more prominent later in the series though as the magic was very much low key here.
Jane Austen with Magic: specifically, Sense and Sensibility, for the most part. (Not, interestingly, Heyer-esque; Kowal goes for the older and less comic model.) I found it a very pleasant way to spend an evening, to be sure. Interesting magic system. I much enjoyed the final choice of hero, and the process of that choosing. There were several possibilities in play at first, and the methods of winnowing down the pack by both protagonist and author were instructive.I suspect this crosses over fro [...]
I had the oddest reaction to this book - I enjoyed it while reading it, but the moment I'd finished it I couldn't stem a growing swell discontent. Certainly, Ms. Kowal's command of Regency-era literary styling was excellent - it felt of the time, without being unreadable to a modern reader. And her conceit of "glamour" started out as interesting, but unfortunately, like the rest of the book, really came to naught.What kept me reading at first was the surety that something had to happen eventuall [...]
I suppose that it is natural to compare any competently written book featuring Regency-era gentry and romance to Jane Austen. Inevitable as it is, I kind of wish it weren't so common. This book isn't anything like Jane Austen except in the above surface aspects. The thing is, the book has a charm and grace of its own that I deeply enjoyed and appreciated and the fact it does so without cribbing noticeably from any of the Regency greats (most notably Austen and Heyer) is a really remarkable achie [...]
Review from Tenacious Reader: tenaciousreader/2017/0Shades of Milk and Honey is a wonderful regency romance with just enough magic (or glamour) to add an extra layer of enchantment for the reader. For anyone who enjoys Jane Austen, I highly recommend this one. While the story is enjoyable, I also feel like this is a style of book where you just enjoy how it is told, and immersing yourself in the world and time period.The main protagonist, Jane, is not a stunning beauty, but she does have an extr [...]
A very enjoyable Regency drama where one of the fine aristocratic arts practiced by young ladies is that of magical glamour. Magic is simply part of society, woven quietly and subtly into an otherwise perfectly recognisable nineteenth century romance or comedy of manners. Fans of Austen who want a a little sprinkle of stardust mixed into their Sense and Sensibility couldn't do better than this. For my personal tastes this was a little to quiet and subdued but it was thoroughly lovely and I would [...]
On the one hand, yes, this was fun because Jane Austen + magic = yes, as stated in one of my status updates while reading. If you go into the book expecting Jane Austen levels of wit and social satire, you are going to be disappointed. But I didn't. I went in expecting a fantasy novel set in an Austen-like world with an Austen-like romance plot, and so I was fine. And the magic system was really interesting to me. So basically, this is Regency England if magic were real, and largely considered a [...]
I finished Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal and I was bit mixed; from early word of mouth and reviews I have expected a more substantial book rather than the very light beach reading novel this turned out to be; it is pretty much Jane Austen light, without any real social commentary or depth to the world building, all revolving around relationships and romance, while magic is pretty in-essential to the story except as a vehicle of allowing the main character to 'shine" as a "plai [...]
Super boring. 50% of the way through and there was still no plot. The writing is clunky, the conversations contrived, and did I mention boring?1 I quit. There's too many good things out there to read.
MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!THE WORLD: In this book we travel to older times when women were praised for their beauty and talent in music and arts. Their only purpose of life was to fine a nice and wealthy man and have a beautiful family. Just like in Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice, the book is set in country suburbs were balls are the highest entertainment. However, another thing exists in this world and that is glamour. It is really pulling the strings of ether and adjusting the aga [...]
Shades of Milk and Honey is a novel set in an alternate Regency England where genteel young women are expected to learn how to cast glamours as well as cover screens and knit purses. In an early scene, the protagonist Jane—a talented user of such glamours, though overlooked by many because of her plainness—tutors another young woman about glamours, showing her how the folds of light she's making are too clumsy, her stitches too obvious, the overall effect crude. This is, sadly, a good analog [...]
The Regency-plus-magic in which Jane takes us through the tiniest shades of her emotions regarding her plainness, her relationship with her beautiful sister, Melody, and her marriage prospects, while the magic is confined to literally decorative use. I didn't care for this. The pacing was such that for almost two hundred pages nothing happens but feeeeelings, and then suddenly revelations and chases and duelling pistols and so on are rushing by so quickly that the characters don't seem to be abl [...]
2.5/5Shades of Milk and Honey is touted as Jane Austen with magic. Kowal does borrow quite a bit from Austen, which is generally speaking not a problem. It starts being a problem when there's nothing new added into the mix. And, in this case, the only new thing is the magic. Sounds not bad, right? And it isn't. But it also isn't exciting in any shape or form. The magic in this novel is decorative. It doesn't have much impact on the universe of the novel. It's low-key enjoyable, I'll give it that [...]
Shades of Milk and Honey is a Regency-era romance with magic, called glamour, added in as an essential skill for an accomplished young lady. It is very obviously influenced by the works of Jane Austen. While an enjoyable read overall, it suffers in the inevitable comparison to Austen.For example, the main protagonist, Jane Ellsworth, has a younger sister, Melody. Melody is obviously meant to remind you of Marianne Dashwood. However, while Marianne was foolish due to her youth, she clearly loved [...]
This is the book I was looking forward to love. It had wonderful reviews from people I trust, it had that lovely mash of ingredients I love, it had an interesting magic concept I read and was underwhelmed, and now, a month and a half later I can hardly remember what it was about. It is a regency novel with magic in it. But it seemed that the regency part and the magic part were too diluted to give space for each other that that the whole book seems too empty. I liked the characters well enough, [...]
I'm vacillating between two and three stars on this one -- it's not halfway between, I'm just trying to decide whether I'll give it credit for keeping me reading, or dock it for how very high its debt to Jane Austen's work is. It's basically a cut and paste job on Austen's characters and situations, and while the writing is competent enough, it doesn't have the same subtlety and humour that Jane Austen brought to her work. It suffers very much in comparison, because of its debt.The fantasy woven [...]
If you told me that this was an actual Regency-era fiction, I would probably believe you. Kowal's research is impeccable, and the book feels authentic to the time it recreates. Except, you know, with the addition of subtle magical glamour, which seems like a perfectly reasonable thing for a young lady of good breeding to have done with her time, so I don't see why I should doubt that aspect. Kowal sets up the slight divergence from reality in expert fashion, slipping it into the first paragraphs [...]
2.5 stars, rounded up because why are there 4 different GR stars for flavors of 'like' and one star for 'not for me'?- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - On the whole I'm finding this Pride and Prejudice re-imagining to be enjoyable, though its flaws ultimately proved difficult for me to get past. Not least of these is the character of Melody Ellsworth, the younger of the two Milk & Honey Ellsworth daughters, who seems to be a melding of several of Austen's Bennet daughters into one. Did [...]
I read this as part of the #TBRTakedown and I have to say I didn't know exactly what I was getting into when I began this as it's set in a rather 'prim and proper' society, not what I usually read. This is a fairly classical story with many of the same elements as those in jane Eyre (which is what Kowal states as a large influence) and I freely admit that I have yet to read (and may not ever read) Jane Eyre. However, despite my usual disinterest in classics I am in no way put off by the language [...]
I read this one before and wasn’t enormously impressed, despite reading it one go. I think that was still pre-appreciation of Austen (sorry Mum, I can’t help it) and pre-interest in anything like romance; definitely before my interest in the likes of Georgette Heyer. So an Austenesque fantasy didn’t work for me much then. Honestly, the setting itself doesn’t quite convince me now, but that’s not because I don’t like Regency novels. It’s more that something feels off, for example wh [...]
SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY proved to me that just because I enjoy recency romance movies doesn't mean those are the books for me. However, it was enjoyable but I definitely would have preferred watching it over reading it. Some things just work better for each of us in different formats. I never have been much of a person for classics and such. I'm so much more into fantasy. And while this did have a fantasy element it wasn't enough for my tastes.I think readers who enjoyed Sense and Sensibility, [...]
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