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Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories)by Mary Robinette Kowal
Synopses & Reviews
Up-and-coming fantasist Mary Robinette Kowal enchanted fans with award-winning short stories and beloved novels featuring Regency pair Jane and Vincent Ellsworth. In Without a Summer the master glamourists return home, but in a world where magic is real, nothing — even the domestic sphere — is quite what it seems.
Jane and Vincent go to Long Parkmeade to spend time with Jane's family, but quickly turn restless. The year is unseasonably cold. No one wants to be outside and Mr. Ellsworth is concerned by the harvest, since a bad one may imperil Melody's dowry. And Melody has concerns of her own, given the inadequate selection of eligible bachelors. When Jane and Vincent receive a commission from a prominent family in London, they decide to take it, and take Melody with them. They hope the change of scenery will do her good and her marriage prospects — and mood — will be brighter in London.
Once there, talk is of nothing but the crop failures caused by the cold and increased unemployment of the coldmongers, which have provoked riots in several cities to the north. With each passing day, its more difficult to avoid getting embroiled in the intrigue, none of which really helps Melody's chances for romance. It's not long before Jane and Vincent realize that in addition to getting Melody to the church on time, they must take on one small task: solving a crisis of international proportions.
Another fine example of exactly the sort of novel we would expect from Jane Austen if she wrote fantastical fiction — this one similar to Austen's Emma set against the Luddite Uprising in the Year Without a Summer — from up-and-coming fantasist Mary Robinette Kowal.
About the Author
Mary Robinette Kowal was the 2008 recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and a Hugo winner for her story “For Want of a Nail.” Mary serves on the board of directors of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. A professional puppeteer and voice actor, she spent five years touring nationally with puppet theaters. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and nine manual typewriters.
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