Mary Robinette Kowal stunned readers with her charming first novelShades 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.
If Shades of Milk and Honey is an homage to Jane Austen, then Glamour in Glass is Mary Robinette Kowal finding her voice in historical fantasy.
I liked the first book in the Glamourist series. Emphasis on “like”. However, it didn’t compare to Glamour in Glass. In this book, we revisit the world and life of Vincent and Jane. This time, they are a few months married and are working together in their comissions.
What I liked most about this book is that we see more of Jane and Vincent as people. I felt a little distanced by them in the first book and the romance between the two wasn’t very present. I chalked this up to the fact that it was a homage to Jane Austen and in her books, though there is romance, it never went beyond the proper ways of English society. In this book, we see more of Jane’s relationship with Vincent and can actually see them as a couple. They are rather cute. And, I found Vincent to be more audacious than he led me to believe in the first book.
Jane came out more as well. I found her to have grown from the little mouse of a woman in the first book to a woman who will stop at nothing in keeping her family together. She definitely matched Vincent in wit, intelligence, and in balls. I loved the way she worked out how to free Vincent from his imprisonment. It was a well thought out plan, worked with her own confinement, and wasn’t something I was expecting. I thought it was a well thought out plan and I loved how Kowal executed it.
In the end, I am more in love with the characters. In the first book, I liked them. In this one, I want more. Needless to say, the third book is on its way to me from libraries. Might take a while, but I can’t wait to begin reading. Until then, I will have to survive by reading something else.