Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Without a Summer

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Without a Summer (2013) Mary Robinette Kowal

without-a-summerSet in Alternate Regency England in 1816, during the Year without a Summer.

The third Glamourist History finds Jane and Vincent back in London, with a new commission and with Melody as a visitor, in the hopes she’ll find a husband.

There were some interesting bits about Glamour here, such as its effect on light and perception.

Too often amateur glamourists would try to flood an area with the illusion of light, not understanding that it would make the space seem darker by contrast, as the eye and the mind disagreed on what they saw.

But I was very surprised to discover that Jane and Vincent were not following up upon their discoveries in the previous book, of the ability to put Glamour into glass. Considering that Vincent is on speaking terms with both Wellington and the Prince Regent, I can’t believe there was no mention of further efforts to place glamour into an object.

What I liked best about this story was the changing relationship of Jane and Melody.

Jane bit her lip and straightened the folds of her gown. “I also wanted to apologise to you. I should have trusted you and did not. I am— I am not even certain where to begin with apologies. My offences seem endless.”

If Jane had hoped that Melody would stop her with a protest, that hope was sadly dashed.

As well they should have been.

I’ll note I was amused and delighted by a name check in this book. Jane is given a book to read, The Sleeping Partner, by Mrs. Robins, which is a real book that I have read and enjoyed.

I was surprised and pleased by the drama that happened towards the end of the book, and even more pleased by the outcome.

But I really was bothered by the lack of work on putting glamour into inanimate objects.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Tor


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