Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Romance and Regency go hand in hand, but then, so does Art.
All the most talented ladies are skilled in the art of subterfuge and seeming, are they not?
Well, not Jane. She's conflicted about using Glamour and refuses to make herself seem more pretty than she is, while also being rather more talented than the rest of her family. Sure, its a common thing to know and use Glamour in the Regency era. Didn't you know? Magic is real, and no only can you create wonderful murals and play wonderful music without the gross aids of base paints or the piano forte, but it also gives us a tapestry to work out our own personal dramas.
I've always liked stories that bring up the conflict between lies and bringing forth truth from them. Passion and the heart were always best served through fiction and not stark reality. :)
As an opener into the series, it serves delightfully as a simple romance with silly girls getting into trouble and eligible men causing so much pain and ruckus. *sigh* But this is the nature of reality. *sigh* The novel isn't the most brilliant that I've read, and it's simplicity serves the magic more than the other way around, and that's fine.
Still, don't trust the blurb that this is much like the books listed there. Think Urban Fantasy meets Regency Romance and you'll be fine. :)
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