Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Title: Shades of Milk and Honey
Author: Mary Robinette Kowal
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: August 10, 2010
Hardcover. 304 pages
Audio length: 7hrs. 33min.
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2556-3
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Bought

Shades of Milk and Honey is what we might expect from Jane Austen if she had lived in a world with magic; Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.

My thoughts on the audio:
Shades of Milk and Honey is read by the author, Mary Robinette Kowal. She has a very pleasant voice that makes this story come alive. She reads each character with such care it makes it easy to visualize each scene. The audio length is 7 hours and 33 minutes. I enjoyed each minute of it.

My thoughts on the story:
This book is described as "what we might expect from Jane Austen if she had lived in a world with magic". I agree with that assessment completely. The main character, who is named Jane, would fit right in with Austen's heroines.  She's very intelligent but also under appreciated. She has a gift for glamour. She's almost considered a spinster. She has a beloved sister named, Melody. Melody is beautiful, young, and full of life. The sisters often come to odds in the way that Elinor and Marianne did in Sense and Sensibility. However their bond as sisters always prevail.
Jane has a thirst for knowledge. She is intrigued by the arrival of Mr. Vincent, an artist/glamourist of great renown. He has a way of wielding magic that is breathtaking. He, on the other hand, doesn't really show much interest in her. He seems quite annoyed by her. Jane also develops a friendship with her neighbor's sister, Beth. Beth has some secrets of her own that could end up destroying her happiness.
Shades of Milk and Honey is a delightful book. It has intrigue, hints of romance, and great characters. So many of the characters in this book reminded me of some of Jane Austen's characters. This book was like sitting down with an new friend that you feel like you have known forever. I absolutely fell in love with this book. I can't wait to read more by this author.
My rating:
Other books by this author:
Shades of Milk and Honey
Glamour in Glass


  1. That's so cool that the author read the audiobook-adds another layer since she has the most insight into how people said things and how to create the best dramatic tension. Can't wait to read the sequel!

  2. I literally just picked just up this book over the weekend at a used bookstore. I liked the cover so I thought I would give it a go. It sounds like it would be really good! So glad I saw this post today!!


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