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Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
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Glamour in Glass (edition 2012)

by Mary Robinette Kowal

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2802340,328 (3.71)30
Member:beserene
Title:Glamour in Glass
Authors:Mary Robinette Kowal
Info:Tor Books (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:signed, fantasy, historical fiction, met

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Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

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  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 22 (next | show all)
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 |
A great follow up to her first novel! Just a wonderful, luxurious combination of Jane Austen's Regency England and magic... that doesn't FEEL like magic because it is so perfectly woven into the reality. ( )
  ladypembroke | Nov 22, 2014 |
3.5 stars, really.

As in the first book, Kowal's strengths lie in the world-building, offering a more accessible window into Jane Austen's playground. This sequel expands its reach to give a glimpse of Europe, though, something Austen did only by proxy.

The continuing adventures of Jane and her loved ones take her to Belgium for her honeymoon, where she learns more about both glamour and married life. The possible reentry of Napoleon into France brings intrigue and peril to the locals, causing Jane to take extreme measures to "save the day."

I liked this book better than the first one--it's a bigger story, with more of a plot and higher stakes. So good job on that. Its weaknesses continue to be an overreliance on Austen stories for mannerisms/plot points and the fact that Jane is more than a bit of a Mary Sue.

If you have a friend who's intimidated by Jane Austen, Kowal is a worthy alternative.

( )
  Pat_F. | Jul 25, 2014 |
The second book finds Jane and her husband off on a delayed honeymoon that has him seeing one of his old Glamourist friends in Belgium. Just in time for Napoleon to return for France. Vincent is also doing some glamour work for British citizens and as it turns out some work for his friend the Prince as well. Jane does some amazing things in this book for the love of her husband but it does come at a price. A really good read that has me all ready reading the third book. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
As with the first one, a readable enough story that lacks cleverness. ( )
  ellen.w | Jun 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how. -- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Dedication
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.
First words
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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Book description
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.

(summary from another edition)

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Mary Robinette Kowal chatted with LibraryThing members from Sep 13, 2010 to Sep 26, 2010. Read the chat.

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