I just got done talking about Without a Summer. I’m sure you’re all getting tired of me harping about how much I enjoy the series–but I can’t help it! It’s just such a great series. Valour and Vanity is definitely my favorite one by a long shot, and I’ll explain as much as I can (without spoilers).
The Vincents are heading back to the Continent with the Ellsworth family for a brief vacation before heading off to Italy to work with a glassmaker. While sailing to Venice, their boat is attacked by pirates, their money is robbed, and they place their trust in the wrong person. Cut off from support and correspondence with their contacts, Jane and David have to rely on each other, their skills, and their intelligence to outwit the conspiracy against them.
The blurb describes this novel as “Jane Austen writes Ocean’s Eleven,” and I couldn’t agree more. The novel twists and turns, making it the best fantasy-driven novel in the series so far. I obviously can’t say anything else, because it would ruin the surprise. I read it in less than 24 hours–last night before bed, and this afternoon on my travels back from vacation. I am really impatient for 2015 to get here. Kowal’s finale to her series, Of Noble Family, is promised to be published and advance reviews are already raves.
On a final note: this is my last review of 2014. I have greatly enjoyed reading and reviewing books for the Cannonball/Pajiba community. I have read so many interesting books, and I have enjoyed reading your reviews. I cannot wait for the 2015 Cannonball Read season to arrive!