Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamour in Glass owes much, much less to Jane Austen than Shades of Milk and Honey does—unlike that first book, it’s not a romance, and it doesn’t take place in the English countryside.

Instead, it follows a pair of now-married characters from the first novel as they go on a honeymoon to Europe—now open to English tourists, since Napoleon has been beaten and exiled to Elba, from which obviously he will never escape to cause trouble again—and explore the contours of their marriage, the possibilities of glamour magic, and the various sights of Belgium.

Those who know history might expect that the honeymoon is not fully relaxing, and indeed there’s plenty of action here. I’ve remarked in the past that it’s somewhat odd to think that Jane Austen and C.S. Forester are actually writing about the same time period, so it’s cool that Kowal’s written a book that bridges the gap between them.

The book does have one flaw, which is an annoying middle part where the reader has figured something out that a character hasn’t, and we have to put up with a few chapters irritably wishing they’d just put two and two together already; but on the whole, this is good stuff, and better than the first book. Recommended.


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