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Shades of Milk and Honey Audiobook, by Mary Robinette Kowal Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Mary Robinette Kowal Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Glamourist Histories Release Date: August 2010 ISBN: 9781427210883
3.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 5 3.67 (18 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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The fantasy novel you've always wished Jane Austen had written



Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer:Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.

Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane's skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody's suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right-and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Readers will be disappointed only when they finish this enchanting story, which is suffused with genteel charm…With the grace of Sense and Sensibility, a touch of classic fairy tale magic, and an action-packed ending, this debut novel by an award-winning fantasy short story writer will appeal to fans of Jane Austen, Jane Yolen, Patricia Wrede, Susannah Clarke, and even Jasper Fforde.”

    Library Journal

  • “If Jane Austen had written a fantasy novel, Shades of Milk and Honey would have been the result. Written with painstaking attention to detail, Kowal’s prose is serenely evocative of the time period, and the fantastic elements are a seamless fit. The characterization is extremely well done and Jane is a sympathetic, strong, and intelligent heroine whose devotion to her family trumps nearly every other concern. Give this one a try!”

    RT Book Reviews, Top Pick (starred review)

  • “Take Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and add a dash of magic and you have this delightful story by Mary Kowal…A touch of magic inserted into the story is enough to enhance, but not overwhelm the story line. A quick, light read, with characters that the reader will feel right at home with.”

    Booklist

  • One of the 2010 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Winner of the 2011 Locus Award for Best First Novel
  • A 2010 Nebula Award Finalist for Best Novel
  • Nominated for Nebula Awards - Nominee, 2010
  • Nominated for Locus Awards - Nominee, 2011

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chuk | 1/17/2014

    " Good. In the style of Jane Austen, but with some magical art involved. A little like Sorcery and Cecilia, but not in letter firm and with quieter magic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bambi | 1/2/2014

    " A slight twist with the magic on a Jane Austen-type novel. Enjoyable and pleasant to read. Yay! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 10/29/2013

    " What a sweet book! I really liked the main character and wanted her to do well. The whole "glamour" thing is really quite creative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leanne | 10/28/2013

    " Fast read; Kowal was able to blend the elements of illusion/glamour within a twisted Jane Austen setting. Really liked the character of Jane and detested her sister, Melody. Enjoyed the mysterious character of Mr. Vincent and the subtle love triangle that emerged as the plot was developed. Recommended for Jane Austen fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Izzy | 10/4/2013

    " This book was awesome!! Fans of Austen who don't mind a touch of the fantastic will love this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn | 1/25/2013

    " I haven't enjoyed a romance this much since I first read Pride and Prejudice. It was an absolutely wonderful blend of Austen with just a touch of magic. I can't wait to read more of her work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 1/9/2013

    " very Austen-esque, which I loved, but the ending was a bit abrupt. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 12/28/2012

    " Just what the doctor ordered - a gentle Regency romance that just also happens to use a little magic aka glamour. This is the first book I've finished in one setting in years. Jane Austen maniacs may be a tad disapproving but overall a fun read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 A.J. | 8/11/2012

    " Classy. The author respects Jane Austen's work and the time period. This is romance the way it should be done, respecting the reader and the characters without throwing in all the hot-and-steamy stuff that seems to be so popular these days. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 8/19/2011

    " A delightful book. I read it in one sitting. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE with a little magic is a perfect description. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adriane | 6/12/2011

    " This book reminded me a lot of Jane Austin's Sense and Sensability with a touch of magic. It was surprisingly great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice | 5/18/2011

    " I always have problems when books are compared to Jane Austen's or Susanna Clarke's work because inevitably my expectations are disappointed. Shades of Milk and Honey is not a Jane Austen novel. But it is a charming little Regency fantasy when taken on its own merits. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 5/16/2011

    " Ehh. Glamour idea was very clever. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 5/14/2011

    " jane austen with a bit of background magic thrown in was a good description. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 5/13/2011

    " Delightful! Finally a fantasy that is not a sword-and-scorcery clone. Very Jane Austen indeed. I just loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adysnewbox | 3/27/2011

    " Do you like Jane Austen novels? Enjoy a little light fantasy as well? Have I got the novel for you! Not a perfect Austen mimic, but short, sweet & charming. The glamour concept is handled well, and I would be curious to see other books by this author that used the same conceit. A fun book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gabrielle | 3/17/2011

    " I love historical fantasy, so I went into this fully revved, but, alas, in the end I was disappointed. i was really into the premise but it wrapped up too tidily and neatly and predictably, even as I held out for redemption. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Incandragon | 3/11/2011

    " This was a very pleasant little parlor romance. Kind of a Jane Austen lite, with magic.

    All in all, I wish it had been a bit more layered, and a bit longer. But it was fun little brain-break. "

About the Author

Mary Robinette Kowal is an author, a voice actor, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, and a puppeteer. She was the 2008 recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and a Hugo nominee for her story “Evil Robot Monkey.” She is an active member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. A professional puppeteer and voice actor, she spent five years touring nationally with puppet theaters.