I saw the cover of this book on Pinterest. I do like a good looking book cover so I looked it up and found the synopsis intriguing. Kowal admits to this being heavily inspired by Jane Austen. The book is set in alternate world Regency where magic or glamour is available. Women are valued for their skills in this feminine art.
Jane Ellsworth is the protagonist. She and her sister Melody have a similar relationship to Elinor and Marianne Dashwood except Melody is far more insecure, selfish and spiteful than Marianne. Honestly, she is a little snit for almost all the novel. It was disconcerting to read. Most of the characters aren ot particularly well developed; I wish there was more time on Jane’s father or love interest. I did like Jane as a character though. Kowal paid many homages to Austen throughout the book. You can find hints of all her major novels in Kowal’s book.
If you remove the small glamour magic element, this is like any other Regency set romance. The addition of the fantasy element gives this book something extra which some conventional Austenites won’t like; however, if you enjoy Austen and fantasy, then go ahead. This book is a light read and relatively short in length. It is also marketed as a teen book too.
While I wouldn’t say this book as great or anything, it’s so light and quick that I passed my couple hours quickly. There is a recently published sequel to this called Glamour in Glass, and I have requested it from the library just to see how Kowal does there.
Read August 6th 2012.