Customer Reviews for

Shades of Milk and Honey

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(8)

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(8)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

One of the best Austen-inspired novels I've read

I will begin by saying that when it comes to Austen-sequels and other such fiction, I am not even the slightest-bit interested. I will read Georgette Heyer sometimes, but as a mean, I am not interested in imitators.

Mary Robinette Kowal is no imitator. Her style and ...
I will begin by saying that when it comes to Austen-sequels and other such fiction, I am not even the slightest-bit interested. I will read Georgette Heyer sometimes, but as a mean, I am not interested in imitators.

Mary Robinette Kowal is no imitator. Her style and voice brought me right back to that feeling I got when I first read Jane Austen's work long ago. It was like discovering another fantasy book by Jane that she'd kept secret from the world.

I fell in love with the characters as surely as I fell in love with Austen's. The story was engaging and quite clever and her gift of description pulled me right into the story, and whenever I was forced to put it down, I would spend the day wondering what was to come. I did not want this book to end! I'm so glad there's another! I'm off to buy it as we speak.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves Austen, but who also enjoys an imaginative tale with magic and mystery.

posted by MirandaMayer on December 25, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not my "cuppa"

A reviewer I know likes to ask if a book is someone's "cuppa"--by that she is asking if it is that reader's "cup of tea", something that he or she finds appealing in a general sort of way. This book is not my cuppa. I only occasionally enjoy Austen pastiches, and this...
A reviewer I know likes to ask if a book is someone's "cuppa"--by that she is asking if it is that reader's "cup of tea", something that he or she finds appealing in a general sort of way. This book is not my cuppa. I only occasionally enjoy Austen pastiches, and this book did not appeal to me. As a scholar of nineteenth-century British literature, I was most disappointed by the author's failure to capture the sharpness of Austen's prose. I read Austen for more than just romance--I read her for her words. This author cannot compare, and in writing a pastiche of Austen, she draws attention to that fact.

posted by Nan_W on March 9, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Good magical realism read

    I have never read any Austen outside of college so I can't comment on this novel as an homage but chose it because of my love of magical realism. On that front the story most certainly delivers. The glamour (magic) is effortlessly made part of a story that is essentially one about societal intrigue and romance. I enjoyed it immensely, in no small part because I pictured Vincent (one of the male leads in the story) as Richard Armitage :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A fine, light entertainment

    I don't think I'm in the target demographic for this book. But I enjoyed it, anyway. I bought it as a gift for my daughter with the degree in English Lit and read it before she could take it home. Since I don't have much background in historical romance, specifically Jane Austen, it's difficult for me to make comparisons in that realm. I just allowed the story to take me where it wanted. Where it took me was to a genteel world of preaning society, where appearances and reputations are put above personal needs and desires. It's a world where art and culture take precedence over doing real work and the magical art of glamour has been added to the mix. To my naive perceptions and untrained modern eye, the author does a fine job of bringing this world alive, weaving together the fantasy and romantic aspects of the novel in a way that kept me turning pages right through to the end. I wish a few more mysteries had been introduced sooner. It took a while for the tension to build, other than the romantic frustrations of the main character. Some reviewers argue that the impact of this magical art ought to have had a greater impact on society than what is depicted here. But since we are seeing only a small corner of the world, essentially a couple of country estates, I think it is difficult to make that judgement. And while the actual Jane Austen may have intended to make deeper commentary on her society, I don't think that's how this homage was intended at all. It's really just a light entertainment, and (to quote Mr. Vincent from the novel) "Illusions should be entrancing without someone looking behind the scenes to see how they are made."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 28, 2010

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    Posted February 11, 2012

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    Posted May 29, 2012

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    Posted March 7, 2012

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    Posted May 2, 2013

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    Posted March 1, 2011

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