Friday, June 28, 2013

Without a Summer by Mary Robinet Kowal

This is the third in the series by the wonderful Mary Robinette Kowal (I can verify that "wonderful" having spent time with her in person) and I'm pretty enamored of the series. She's created a world, extremely similar to our own, only with a different sort of magic (for I am convinced there is real magic in our own world.) The books have often been compared to Jane Austen, and while I can see the similarities, in my mind, I feel that though they share a time in history, a love of character and conversation, some character names, and some gentle poking of fun at society/conventions, the Glamourist Histories are truly a world apart. The author's notes at the end of each book have always also been informative. This woman does her research!

With plots that have enough twists to keep those readers who said "I saw that coming" at bay, the three books each have exquisite detail, delicious conversations, and thought provoking insights. This one expanded the concept of glamour and the magic of this particular world in an interesting tangent, that of coldmongers, used for their skills of keeping food, homes, etc cool at a time when refrigeration was not around. Add in some social inequity, strife, throw in a handful or two of greed and treachery, a pinch of betrayal, stir well, and top with a little romance, and <i>Without a Summer</i> serves up a sumptuous read.

I look forward to seeing where Mary Robinet Kowal takes Jane and Vincent, next.

PS I'm waiting for the return of the wicked Livingston.

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