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Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

Glamour in Glass (edition 2012)

by Mary Robinette Kowal

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3702729,266 (3.74)40
Title:Glamour in Glass
Authors:Mary Robinette Kowal
Info:Tor Books (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:signed, fantasy, historical fiction, met

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Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

  1. 00
    The Silvered by Tanya Huff (nessreader)
    nessreader: Action-adventure war thriller fantasy crossed over with regency romance mannerpunk. Both Glamour in Glass and the Silvered have a lot of plot and the action in relation to the love story, which is fine by me.

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Newlyweds Jane and Vincent are off to a grand start in their marriage -- the Prince Regent has hired them to create a large-scale glamour for his New Year's Eve celebration. The book begins with a dinner party celebrating their achievements, and sets the tone for the rest of the book. Jane and Vincent, though deeply in love, have many issues to work through. Vincent is used to being a solitary artist, and does not always find it easy to work with another glamourist, even his beloved (and talented) wife -- nor does he find it easy to discuss his feelings, plans, or ambitions. Jane still struggles with deep-seated insecurity, not only over her plain features, but in comparing her own work as a glamourist to that of her husband. With the war seemingly over and Napoleon confined to the island of Elba, Jane and Vincent travel to Belgium to work with another glamourist, an old friend of Vincent's. However, many unexpected events await them in Belgium. . . .

I enjoyed this book, just as I did its predecessor. Jane and Vincent really develop as characters in this book, the portrayal of their marriage is well-balanced, and there's plenty of intrigue and adventure to keep the plot moving along. If you're unfamiliar with this series, I definitely recommend starting with Shades of Milk and Honey, as the characters and magic system are more thoroughly explained in that book. Fans of fantasy and Jane Austen are sure to enjoy this series. ( )
  foggidawn | Jan 26, 2016 |
4.5 Stars

I gotta say I enjoyed this volume a TON better than book one.

The author’s writing style has smoothed out from her awkward tendencies in book one. No strange exchanges or showdowns here! I think it’s from not trying so hard to emulate Jane Austen. The atmosphere and the details of the Regency are still very firmly present; yet, the author isn’t trying to incorporate exact phrasing and spelling choices to the story nor is she forcing Jane Austen-esque character interactions into the story.

I also still enjoyed her main characters and their relationship. The secondary ones still didn’t make all that much of an impression on me; I can hardly remember most of their names. But the leads were still great. The author threw some pretty harsh circumstances and story twists at our characters, and I found how they dealt with them realistic. Especially with Jane’s twist, I think I can safely say that I would have dealt with her tribulations in almost exactly the same way.

My favorite part of this book, though, was the more in depth look at glamour that we got. Details on how it works, postulations on its uses outside of pretty colors and decoration, more on the cost users pay to utilize it, and theorizing on how to adapt it to current technologies all play a part in the story. The fantasy geek in me was thrilled to see all this stuff on the magic system.

To me, this book was worth wading through the first book for. While that one had some good points, it was mostly a slog through. But book two?! Vast improvement and a fantastic book overall. I loved the main characters still, enjoyed the new twists on glamour, and enjoyed the different story and situations presented for our leads to overcome. Highly recommended for lovers of historical fantasy with a side of romance. Look forward to the rest of the series! ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 13, 2016 |
I get where a lot of people are coming from with some of the reviews but my experience with it was one of enjoyment. Jane has invested a lot of her energy and self worth into her skills as Glamorourist, now that she is in partnership with her husband she can see that she has worth, she is invested in this. She's finding herself in a social sphere she didn't expect, dining with the Prince Regent, no less. She finds herself out of place and quite alone in this new world, the only woman who will talk to her is the Prince Regents' mistress who is more interested in her for the novelty of Jane rather than her as a person. She's stuck in a strange place in society, she's rubbing shoulders with upper class women but she's technically a labourer, no better than a shopkeeper, and is therefore not someone that they would deal with, which I would resent too, particularly if my husband is still accepted, but he opted out, which makes him different.

The concept that not only would she have to stop using glamour when she was pregnant but that she could lose the child if she did was interesting, particularly if all her self-worth is caught up with being good with glamour and suddenly she's not able to use it and to add to everything Vincent is hiding something from her. Here's hoping that he's learnt something about how his keeping secrets makes her uncomfortable, she also needs to learn to trust him.

To me Jane came across as being very human and I enjoyed this story with her. She is a product of her times, trying hard to get as much as she can from the world.

I enjoyed it, it drew me in, kept me reading past my bedtime and I want more. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Sep 1, 2015 |
GLAMOUR IN GLASS was a worthy sequel to SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY. This volume finds Jane and Vincent married and on a honeymoon to France since Napoleon has been defeated and imprisoned on Elba. Vincent is eager to visit with a colleague. Jane is somewhat at sea because her spoken French is lacking but her maid is a Parisian who speaks excellent English because her mother was English.

Jane and Vincent have some issues because he seems to be keeping secrets from her. Along with Jane's discomfort at being in a strange place, this new habit of Vincent's makes her even uneasier and more uncertain of her value to him. When she learns that she is expecting a child, things get even more difficult because women who are pregnant can't do any glamour at all because of danger to the baby.

Jane is also uncertain because she doesn't know if Vincent wants children. He is having enough trouble adjusting to the idea of a family that cares about its members which is so different from his own family. Jane is also worried because of the way Vincent was raised. Her father punished him brutally if he didn't measure up to his father's standards.

Jane discovers a way to make glamours movable which was thought to be impossible. I liked the passages when she and Vincent were working with the glassblower as they refined Jane's theory. However, her discovery makes Vincent very desirable to the French. They kidnap him so that he can share his glamour which makes people invisible to assist with Napoleon's new revolution.

It is up to Jane to rescue her husband from the French which she does despite the heavy cost she has to pay. I love the Regency setting and manners combined with magic. I can't wait to read more books in this series to learn more about Jane and Vincent's further adventures. ( )
  kmartin802 | Aug 16, 2015 |
Oh no.
No, please no!

I hardly what to rate it! I liked some aspects, but all in all, some of the attitudes etc. are horrifying!
I'll round it up to 2, but that's almost entirely because there aren't enough authors writing historical fantasy.

In the second chapter, there's a rather worrying scene:

I calmly ignored a lot of the sexist comments because they are (sadly) of their time.

For example, let us skip over the fact that when the men are talking about Napoleon, someone comments that it's 'hardly a topic of conversation for the ladies'. Onwards.

As the 'intimate dinner party' was winding up, and the ladies retire to the Blue Room, Jane 'feel[s] sorry to be shooed out'. Sad, but it happened. Then we have

'Jane found herself in a circle of five women...comparing the merits of the gentlemen who had attended dinner.'

Hm. Not so sure about this. What next?

'...the conversation drifted...to those who were not present, with shockingly cutting comments directed at Lady so-and so's gown or Miss someone's latest conquest.'

Hmpf. Don't worry, it gets worse.
Jane wanders over to the portraits, and is soon joined by the 'inimitable Lady Hertford'. After some chat about the Prince of Wales' portrait,

'Lady Hertford took Jane's arm...With a contemptuous glance over her shoulder, she said, "Please do not let them bother you. They cannot cause any true harm, but most of them are too silly to know how to deal with anything of substance. Faced with a woman who can actually do things, such as yourself, they simply do not know what to talk about."

Jane 'trie[s] to brush off their rudeness' for not talking to her earlier. The two of them talk about glamour for a while. Lady H can't do it, Jane says she could if she practised. Ladidah. Then some stuff about Vincent, and husbands, and babies. It is made clear that Lady H is *gasp* mistress to the Prince Regent. Jane is shocked blah blah.

'It came to Jane, all at one, the change in situation that she had experienced...for the only women in the room who was willing to speak to her at length was the Prince Regent's mistress. The confusion and dismay that filled her was extreme, Lady Hertford had been all kindness and interest...and yet, to have fallen to such a state. Jane hardly knew what to say or do.'

Oh wow. Really?
Thanks for that, it really underlines how superior Jane is to all other women. I mean after all, they're all either idiots or depraved.

To put the icing on the cake, so to speak, later on in the book she dismisses all other women she knows as 'insipid, and concerned only with fashion.'

This idea that Jane is superior to all other women is cemented at the end of the book - the other ladies are 'excused', but Jane's husband asks her stay and talk about politics.

I'm afraid I've gotten a bit carried away... will finish later ( )
  Gorthalon | Dec 6, 2014 |
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Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how. -- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
For Mom and Dad. If not for you, I would not be a writer, nor have the courage to submit. Thank you for teaching me that the arts are important.
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Supposed to be "There are few things in this world that can simultaneously delight and dismay in the same manner as a formal dinner party."  However, in the first edition, that sentence is omitted, and it begins with "Finding oneself a guest of honor only increases the presentiment of anxiety, should one be disposed to such feelings."
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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.

[retrieved 2/16/2014 from Amazon.com]
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Newlyweds Jane and David Vincent travel to Belgium and their ability to create invisibility via glamour makes them a target for emperor Napoleon's returning forces.

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