Shades of Milk and Honey: Kowal's debut novel is a drawing-room romance with magic and art


15 Responses to “Shades of Milk and Honey: Kowal's debut novel is a drawing-room romance with magic and art”

  1. paulmclaughlin says:

    Pitch-perfect Regency where there is reference to “Her Majesty’s Navy”?

    • Mary Robinette Kowal says:

      Whoops! That’s my fault. In the novel it’s His Majesty’s Navy, but when Cory (who is wonderful) let me proof the review before posting it, I was so overwhelmed by how kind he was that I completely missed the “Her.”

      Sorry about that!

    • cymk says:

      Just because the 19th century Royal Navy (after 1815) didn’t do much, doesn’t mean they didn’t exist.

    • cymk says:

      Nevermind, I completely misread your post. I need more coffee.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Methinks the referral was to the exquisite “Tar Babes”

  3. Mary Robinette Kowal says:

    @Cassandra: I doubt it will make any difference, but the trailer isn’t actually animation. It’s a style of puppetry called Shadow Mask which was developed for live theater. So those are shadows of live actors, wearing cut paper masks. That’s why their expressions are static.

  4. jamiethehutt says:

    Oooh thanks for the response! I’ll get this on my ebook reader right away! :D

  5. Anonymous says:

    Made me think, too, of Clarke’s book which, sadly, I could not love. Perhaps, Ms. Kowal has something to share in tale or style I will find more compelling. What say you Mr. Doctorow?

  6. jon_anon says:

    It’s a lovely idea but as for “pitch perfect” I’d say it was imperfectly executed in the style department. And I think the editing was a little dubious, with sentences like this in what should have been a heavily vetted first chapter:

    “When Jane let her vision shift to the ether,
    so that the physical room faded from her view.”

  7. jamiethehutt says:

    A video trailer for a book? Cory’s review sounded good so I gave it a watch and, well, what a waste of time.

    If a publisher wants to entice me to buy a book they should put some of it online for free, like a first couple of chapters as a taster or some shorts from the same setting, as Paolo Bacigalupi with the Windup Girl.

    The book still sounds good though…

  8. Cassandra says:

    This book sounds great, and I plan on reading it, but the trailer seemed too long, was basically monochromatic in a non-attractive way, and the movement of the animation had a strange balance of action where the action of the character’s hands and clothing felt natural, but their heads and bodies were stilted and unnatural.
    I don’t think it’s because they were a kind of animated paper-cutout; that type of thing can be done quite well without the stilted feeling.

    It’s a strange thing when the advertisement for an interesting-looking book turns me off to the book. It’s a shame when said advertisement also features classical piano and animated silhouettes, which are things I enjoy on their own merits, and manages to make me dislike them.

  9. Been_dere says:

    Sounds similar to Susanna Clarke’s “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell”, a wonderful story which has, alas, no sequel yet.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This puts me in mind of Susanna Clarke’s ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell’ – another Regency styled romp with magicians. Although I am getting the idea from the way the post was worded that this book is more romance and not so ‘guy friendly’.

    (Sorry, I’m a bit of a dinosaur and definately not a ‘new man’!)

    I like these literary retro narratives and am looking forward to the sequal to ‘Johnathan Strange…’ et al. But I may have to give ‘Shades of Milk and Honey’ a miss…My excuse being that my wife and daughter just dragged me to see the latest ‘Twilight’ movie and that’s as much simpering romantic angst I can take in one decade! ;)

  11. Matt Staggs says:

    I’ve had the misfortune to meet a gentleman or two who could create “breezes and smells.” ‘Twas not a matter suited for the drawing room.

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