The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent. reviews Shades of Milk and Honey
It is so very, very gratifying when someone gets what I was trying to do with the Austeninan aspect of Shades of Milk and Honey.
Jane Austen famously described her novels — in a description subsequently often quoted to denigrate her work and that of other female writers, either overtly or through a backhanded head-pat — as “The little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush as produces little effect after much labour.” Mary Robinette Kowal’s first novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, is deeply in that Austenian tradition, and will certainly garner a few head-pats of its own, from the clueless and the sensation-addicted. But writing a novel this quiet, this domestic and constrained and pure, in the early 21st century — not to mention doing it in a genre as entirely built on external action and what teenage boys call “adventure” as fantasy — is surely one of the most radical things that any writer could hope to do, a perfectly shaped and wielded knitting needle thrust, with all the best taste and tact possible, right into the Achilles heel of the genre.
Read the full and very kind review at The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal.