Thursday, 9 May 2013

Book Review: Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal

Pros: historical accuracy, intricate plot, complex characters


The year is much colder than usual as Jane and Vincent visit with her family, and while they know the coldmongers aren't to blame, those less educated in the working of glamour aren't conviced.  They take a commission for a glamural in London and ask Melody, whose marriage prospects at home are slim, to accompany them.  But the weather remains dark and cold, and riots are breaking out.  And when Vincent's family comes calling, things get worse.

Like Kowal's other books in this series, this one starts off by showing the life and times of the Vincents and slowly adds in intrigue.  Only at the end of the book, when the full plot is revealed, do you realize how brilliant Kowal's writing is.

She takes great care getting the details in her book accurate, with notes at the back where readers can both check up on her facts and contact her if they discover an error.

The characters continue to grow, even as they're sometimes reminded of the events of the previous two books.  The finale depends heavily on the climax of book two, so keep that in mind if you chose to start here.

This book didn't have the uneven pacing of book two, and, with its ending, is probably my favourite of the three so far.

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