Book Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

18392726Title: Shades of Milk and Honey

Author: Mary Robinette Kowal

Series: Glamourist Histories #1

Publisher: Tor Books

Release Date: July 26, 2010


Book Summary:

Shades of Milk and Honey is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth, a woman ahead of her time in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality. But despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester’s society are not that different: Jane and her sister Melody’s lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men.

Jane resists this fate, and rightly so: while her skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face, and therefore wins the lion’s share of the attention. At the ripe old age of twenty-eight, Jane has resigned herself to being invisible forever. But when her family’s honor is threatened, she finds that she must push her skills to the limit in order to set things right–and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

I was so excited to read this book, which left me disappointed when I did not enjoy it as much as I’d hoped to. I immediately saw connections to Jane Austen’s book, including spelling some words in ways more common to her time period. I liked the glamour and how it was intermixed with Regency society. And I liked the characters for the most part and the overall plot line. After some pondering I think I figured out what really made this book fall flat for me. It was written in a way that was reminiscent of Jane Austen but without the full breadth and beauty of a Jane Austen novel. I plan to give the novel another chance sometime in the future, but for now all I can say it that it was a decently good book. At this point I only have mild interest in the sequels.  
Rating: 3 stars – Worth reading if you have the time
Content: Clean – one swear word
Source: Birthday Present
This book can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble


  1. I have this one on my wish list. I’ll keep in mind your points about the book so I don’t let my expectations disappointment. Thanks!

  2. I felt the same way. I was excited to read it but then it sort of fell flat. It was an interesting idea but didn’t quite reach this Janite.