Glamour in Glass is written by Mary Robinette Kowal. It was published in 2012 by Tor. It is the sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey.
In the tumultuous months after Napoleon abdicates his throne, Jane and Vincent go to Belgium for their honeymoon. While there, the deposed emperor escapes his exile in Elba, throwing the continent into turmoil. With no easy way back to England, Jane and Vincent’s concerns turn from enjoying their honeymoon…to escaping it. Left with no outward salvation, Jane must persevere over her trying personal circumstances and use her glamour to set things right…and hopefully prevent her newly built marriage from getting stranded on the shoals of another country’s war.
Let me start off by saying how awesome Jane is in this novel, striding around the countryside in men’s clothes trying to rescue Vincent, and all the while thinking about how her legs are in full view of everyone. Oh, Jane. You’re such a dear.
Glamour in Glass has a lot more action and tension than did Shades of Milk and Honey, but it also expands even more on the subtle magic of the world and the political and social ramifications of that magic. It also has the expected marital angst with Jane, but it’s done very well and stems from what we already know of the character. It was pretty obvious what one of the plot twists would be, but even though I knew it would happen, it still was quite a tragic moment.
I also like how this book, and Shades of Milk and Honey, are at their heart stand-alone novels (Shades more so than Glamour, obviously). These books remind me more of a series of mystery novels, where the plots do not overlap but the characters do. I like that Kowal doesn’t hook you into the next book, and although she hints at future things to come like with the significance of the glass sphere, it’s not an obvious plot thread that is left hanging to be fulfilled later.
This book reminds me quite a lot of The Grand Tour, especially since they both deal with Napoleon and the succession. Given the time period both portray, that’s not surprising.
Recommended Age Range: 14+
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
As they passed within the Sphère Obscurcie, [Mathieu] popped into view, frowning as he tried to understand the excitement apparent on their faces. Of course, being in the centre of the Sphère, he had no way of knowing that for a few moments, he had been invisible. Vincent explained as best he could, and then Jane took Mathieu by the arm to lead him out of the Sphère.
When she turned him to face whence they had come, the boy’s jaw dropped. He stood gaping like a fish.