Book Review : Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

I’ve been a fan of Writing Excuses for a long time now.  I promised myself that I would start to read all of the books from the authors who put out Writing Excuses since they take the time out of their busy schedules to put out this podcast for free.  I started with Brandon Sanderson because he writes Fantasy and I love to read and write Fantasy, so that just made sense.  I read the Mistborn series, which I loved.

And now I’ve read Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal — and she totally gets props for having a cool name.  (I mean, really, say her name three times fast.)

Being a Jane Austen fan, I walked into this book with a small amount of trepidation.  (Of course I did, have you heard of the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?)  But as I realized that the author was handling the setting, the time period, the language, with the respect it deserved, I relaxed and truly enjoyed this story.  While I saw who the dastardly man was before he was revealed in the book, I was too busy trying to figure out which man Jane would end up with.

I was cheering for two specific men, and since I don’t want to give it away for anyone I will refrain from any spoilers.  Still, the fact that I was guessing while halfway through the book says something about the writing.  One of the saddest moments for me when I’m reading a book is when I figure out the ending before I get there.  This book managed to keep me uncertain straight up until … well … I can’t say because then it would give it away.

Basically, this is a classy book.  It’s a book that takes romance without running it through the hot-and-steamy-bath that everyone seems to want these days.  It’s refreshing and wonderful and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.  (Mothers, you can totally let your daughters read this book.)

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