I just finished listening to Valour and Vanity, the fourth book in the Glamourist Histories series by Mary Robinette Kowal.  I’ve enjoyed all the books very much.

The first, Shades of Milk and Honey, can simply be described as what Jane Austen would have written if she wrote fantasy.  Basically, it takes place in a world very much like our own 1800s, but there’s a type of magic called glamour that allows the creation of illusions.  The plot of the first novel is very Austenish, dealing with prospects of marriage, or lack thereof, for the main character, Jane Ellsworth.

Rather than repeat the same sort of Austenish plot in the second novel, Glamour in Glass, Mary instead serves up a plot in which Jane and her husband (Sorry if that’s a spoiler!) get involved in espionage  in Europe during the events leading up to Napoleon’s defeat.

The third novel, Without a Summer, returns to England to offer a political/legal thriller plot in which Jane and her husband’s families get caught up in the machinations of some very powerful figures.

So I was not surprised that Valour and Vanity uses yet another type of plot, in which Jane and her husband travel to Venice and… well, I won’t spoil it. But it reminded me of a movie set (partially) in Venice.

So I recommend the entire series as being worth your time, either in print/ebook or in audio (click on the banner below). The audiobooks are read by Mary herself, who is an accomplished narrator for other authors’ work as well as her own.

Audiobooks at audible.com!

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