Shades of Milk and Honey : The Glamourist Histories

  • by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Series: The Glamourist Histories
  • 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The fantasy novel you’ve always wished Jane Austen had written, Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.
Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane’s skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face.
When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A fun idea well executed but let down by narratio

Obviously the idea of Jane Austen with magic is utterly to my specific taste and I was both excitedly looking forward to listenting to this and also slightly dreading it all going HORRIBLY WRONG. Mary Robinette Kowal does a good job with the language and manners of the day. So may attempts as the period totally ignore the relevant social mores in which Austen's characters operated. There are all the plot elements you would expect of a Regency romance, plain older sister, the lure of officers, neighbourly gentlemen, condescending social superiors and, above all, the absolutely necessity of finding a hustband. All to be navigated via balls, visits, and generally taking a turn about the grounds. only with magic. The magical element is well thought out and very interesting.

The main problem, lies with the authors decision to narrate it herself. I think she is attempting an English accent but doesn't ever hit it. It probably would have been more successful if she had just used her won accent as I think she is a good reader in tone, pace and characterisation. Just not early 19th century English upper class characterisation. If this had been read by someone who could do the accent, I believe this might have been a 5 start listen.

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- Beccameriel

Tries too hard

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I was promised I would love this book because I love Austen and Fantasy and mashup novels. I don't entirely regret listening to this book, it passed the time and had its moments but... meh...


Would you be willing to try another book from Mary Robinette Kowal? Why or why not?

Only if I was given it for free unfortunately. She's not a bad writer at all, it's just, at least in this novel, she tries too hard to be Jane Austen rather than focusing on being herself. No one can do Austen but Austen. Kowal has some lovely ideas but she doesn't have the wit and charm of Austen.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

The fake English accent... Oh God! It's so annoying! She's good at doing a variety of voices but the accent is all over the place. It very much sounds like what an American thinks of as British. Unfortunately, sometimes she sounds more Australian. I just couldn't get past it.


Was Shades of Milk and Honey worth the listening time?

Isn't this the same thing you asked me earlier Audible?


Any additional comments?

Based on this novel, I don't see the general popularity of Mary Robinette Kowal, to be honest. I don't get why people are raving. Frankly, her "glamour" is a brilliant idea and she IS a good writer but she should have more glamour and less regency romance. As it is, this novel is a poor rip-off of Austen (down to the plot which is basically Pride & Prejudice with a touch of Persuasion and Mansfield Park)

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- Chantal Perez

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-08-2010
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio