Title: Glamour in Glass (Glamourist Histories, #2)
Author: Mary Robinette Kowal
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication date: April 10, 2012
Print length: 334 pages
Audio length: 8 hours, 8 minutes
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 follows 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.
It’s official: I’m in love.
The Glamourist Histories is a series that’s been on my to-read shelf for far too long, and now that I’m two books in, I’m just mad I waited this long!
The first book, Shades of Milk and Honey, is a gentle comedy of manners a la Jane Austen, if only Austen’s heroines had magic at their fingertips. In book #2, Glamour in Glass, lead character Jane is newly wed to her beloved Vincent, and the two are blissfully happy living and working together, blending their lives and their glamour into a harmonious whole.
When Vincent’s old friend has a breakthrough in developing a new glamour technique, he and Jane set off for a honeymoon on the Continent, heading to Belgium to rest, relax, and further perfect their artistic talents. But Napoleon’s army is on the move, and as the situation becomes more tense, Jane and Vincent become caught up in an increasingly dangerous situation.
The mood in Glamour in Glass is quite different than in the first book, which was all about romance and courtship. Here, the focus is on what happens after the wooing. Austen’s books stop at the wedding — here, we get to see the happy couple as they begin their married life together.
Jane and Vincent are quite lovely as a couple (I swoon a little every time Vincent refers to Jane as “Muse”), and I love that their talents complement one another so well. Vincent at no time is inclined to relegate Jane to the usual wifely pursuits — they are full partners in their art, even when Jane’s presence raises eyebrows.
For brief sections in the middle, I was a little bored by the politics, but once Napoleon is on the march, the action picks up and the story regains its excitement. And if I thought Jane was awesome before, seeing her in full-on hero mode is just glorious.
Once again, I listened to the audiobook — narrated by the author — and thought it was wonderful. In the first book, her accent was a little uneven, but here, she sticks to her more natural speech patterns for the narrative and only puts on accents for the characters’ dialogue, and it works a lot better.
What more can I say? I’m hooked! I’d thought to take a break and listen to a few other books before continuing with the series, but now I don’t want to.
Two books down, three to go! I can’t wait to start the next one!