#CBR6 Review #118: Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal

So you know how I said that Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamour in Glass was even better than Shades of Milk and Honey? Well, the good news is that the series just gets better and better! I’m excited–I love “finding” an author whose books are high-quality reads. I enjoyed this book immensely.

The glamourist couple Jane and David Vincent have decided to accept a commission in London, after recovering from their time in Belgium. There, Jane decides to take her sister Melody along, hopefully to find her a suitable husband. There, between bouts of social niceties and working glamour, the Vincents accidentally stumble upon a plot that carries national significance. Little do they know how dangerous it will prove to be. Glamour and fantasy merge with family drama and courtroom intrigue to build upon an already strong series.

I have the hugest lady crush on Kowal right now. No, for reals. She is one of my favorite 2014 finds, and I want you all to read her now! What I like about this series is that the fantasy is gentle, the Jane Austen influence strong, and the portrait of a marriage realistic without being too depressing or saccharine. I think Jane and David are both strong, interesting characters, and the family tension that arises helps us to see what kinds of people they are inside. Bonus: the book is very well-written and a nonstop page turner. I think I read this in two nights. I could not put it down. I won’t say anymore, because then I’d have to start giving stuff away, and I definitely don’t want to do that!


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