I’ve been thinking about reading Shades of Milk and Honey for a long time ever since I started listening to the Writing Excuses podcast of which the author is a participant. I’ve read a few Jane Austen novels in the past and always found them decently entertaining so the idea of adding a little bit of magic and mystique to that kind of story seems like it would make a pretty good story.
Will this book be what I’m expecting of it? I don’t know, but I know that I’ve heard a few people talking about it and saying it was pretty good. It’s the first book in a series that is three books long at this point so perhaps I’ll discover a fun new series to dive into as a result.
“Shades of Milk and Honey” is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: “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.
Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane’s skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.