SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY
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!
In an alternate Regency England where magic exists, young women practice manipulating glamour in their quests to land eligible bachelors. Both Jane and her sister Melody are well-practiced in this womanly art, and Jane’s ability in particular is remarkable. However, it is Melody who is fair of face and who gets most of the masculine attention while Jane, at the age of 28, is on the shelf. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is up to no good and is getting into position to take advantage of her, she pushes her skills to their very limits and, quite accidentally, finds her very own happy ever after. (TOR, Aug., 304 pp., $24.99)