Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Valour and Vanity

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Valour and Vanity (2014) Mary Robinette Kowal

valour-and-vanitySet in Alternate Regency Venice in 1817.

After traveling with Melody, her new husband, and Jane’s parent’s for part of their wedding Tour…

“You must not go!” Mrs. Ellsworth came to a stop in front of them with a hand pressed to her bosom. “Charles, tell them they must not.”

Jane’s father cleared his throat. His thinning white hair fluttered under his hat and, in the morning light, seemed almost like mist. “My dear. Your mother wishes me to tell you that you must not go.”

…Jane and Vincent are heading to Venice to see if they can find a glassblower to assist them in capturing glamour in glass.

At first, I was delighted by this, because I felt that just dropping the glamour in glass story arc as both ridiculous and unrealistic. Especially as Vincent had the ear of both the Prince Regent and Wellington, if he needed them.

Then, the book shifted into a pastiche of “The Italian Job” I got irritated. Irritated not because I dislike mysteries and thrillers, but because so many of the mystery and thriller bits were illogical.

They also meet up with Lord Byron, whom Vincent went to school with, and whose reputation hasn’t quite reached the levels it would later.

Vincent drew back into the cabin and whispered, “When he gets out of the water, do not stare at his feet. The right is a club, and he loathes having attention drawn to it.”

Do not stare at his feet? The man was without clothing. Jane had no intention of watching him at all when he emerged from the canal.

Though he’s working to earn that later reputation.

But mostly I was very annoyed by the “heist book”, from the ground up. That Vincent would not have seen the importance of capturing glamour in glass–especially the way it was used in the second book–and would have put off researching and and wouldn’t have bothered to share his ideas with anyone else.

“(P)erhaps this is a technique that only one glamourist has ever known, and it is lost to history.”

And that someone would have gone to all the effort they did for a passing note in a letter that the Vincents would be going to Venice to visit. Nope. The logic just didn’t hang together.

Published by Tor


No comments

Leave a Comment

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

RSS feed Comments