Short synopsis (Goodreads): Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.
My Review: First off, I love this title. The tastes in the title together evoke a feeling of subtlety and remind me of pears, and that is what this book is (except for the pears part...). From the very first sentence I was drawn into a world where the attitudes and emotions reminded me of Jane Austen at every turn and where the presence of magic just made it all the more enjoyable. This wasn’t a flashy type of magic, but just a hint that added depth to everything, made the story its own.
I’ll admit that there were certain elements that reminded me a little too much of several different famous Jane Austen stories, but it was so well done, the writing too quant and superb, that really, it would fit right in and I won’t complain about it not being entirely original (besides the magic element of course).
I sympathized with Jane right off the bat. There were times were I was amazed at her patience with her sister and others where I felt she was totally justified in her actions. The ending was only slightly suprising (I’ll admit I thought that all of the main characters were introduced in the first chapter, and was disappointed with that. How silly of me, what author does that? But I’ll admit the feeling was there) but if memory serves me correctly, Jane Austens' endings weren’t terribly drawn out affairs either.
Overall, a nice, quick read with beautiful imagery, delightful characters and a charming plot. I recommend this for when you want a taste of Jane Austen without having to read through the original and are in the mood for something a little more modern in terms of thinking as well. Lovely!