Friday, July 25, 2014

Valour and Vanity

Valour and Vanity is the fourth book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s historical fantasy series The Glamourist Histories.

Having read all four of the released books, I implore you to read this series in order!!! First there’s Shades of Milk and Honey, then Glamour in Glass and third there’s Without a Summer. Once you’ve read all three of the prior books, THEN you can read this review of Valour and Vanity without fear of spoilers!

Got it?!?

Having happily kept Melody company throughout her marriage and the beginnings of the new couple’s tour of the continent, Jane and Vincent are rather ready to separate from Jane’s family and continue their glamour experiments – just the two of them.

In Murano, Italy Jane and Vincent plan on studying with acclaimed glassblowers to pursue their theories on glamour in glass. However, while sailing to Murano their ship is set upon by Barbary corsairs – just as Jane’s fretful mother feared.

Though blessedly not enslaved, Jane and Vincent find themselves in a foreign country – destitute.

All of their travel funds stolen from them and their only contacts in Murano away, Jane and Vincent are fortunate to cross paths with a kindly man that helps them.

Yet Vincent is dogged to become self-sufficient once more and get their money back.

Amidst the backdrop of a magical fantasy version of glorious Regency times, there’s a heist to plan!

Being that if you’ve just read this review of Valour and Vanity you’ve already read the three prior books, I don’t expect you to wait long to grab a copy of Valour and Vanity – no matter what I say.

I know that I – as a lover of Jane Austen and the Regency period – absolutely adore the fusion Kowal provides when she adds her lovely, grounded magical elements to the mix!!! I’ve ardently adored this series thus far – each book getting better and better.

Though I can’t really say Valour and Vanity is better than Without a Summer – it most certainly ranks evenly, and that’s saying something!

The Glamourist Histories features one of the best romantic relationships I’ve ever read – if not THE best married couple. Jane and Vincent are relatable and passionate yet grounded in friendship. They are AWESOME.

Yet again I was glued to the story – to the wonderfully intriguing plot that provides plenty of interpersonal conflict, growth and proof that Kowal has amazing skill at creating realistic characters and a marriage that is stunningly believable – and enviable.

Without going into details so that every aspect of the story surprises you, I will say that Valour and Vanity is another fantastic addition to a spellbinding series that has become one of my absolute favorites!!!

Not to miss if you’re a fan of Regency, Jane Austen, and/or fantasy!!!

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