Jane Ellsworth is an eldest daughter with an average face and a rare skill for the magical manipulation of glamour. In this version of Regency England, glamour is the moldable fabric of the world, and can be pinched and folded and pinned by a skilled artisan to create different effects around an object or person.

She played a simple rondo, catching the notes in the loose fold; when she reached the point where the song repeated, she stopped playing and tied the glamour off.

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When Jane suspects that her younger prettier sister Melody is being taken advantage of for her dowry, she takes matters (and glamours) into her own hands.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Shades of Milk and Honey, the first in the “Glamourist Histories” series, was nominated for a Nebula Award in 2010, and author Mary Robinette Kowal won the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Short Story with “For Want of a Nail.”


Rating (5 stars)

As a big old history nerd, I’m kind of a snob about my historical fiction, so anything that gets a 5 star rating out of me is a phenomenal book.

The details throughout Shades that are accurate to period would stand even without the addition of the fantasy glamour aspect.  I generally detest simpering girly Regency novels (as I’d rather read about the naval battles,) but there’s enough attitude from Jane Ellsworth to bump her out of the cookie cutter female lead arena and into a spunky, thoughtful heroine.