Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. So here's a thing I'm looking forward to: Without a Summer, by Mary Robinette Kowal (from Tor Books, April 2, 2013).

Jane and David Vincent, master glamourists, 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 Jane's sister 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, it's 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.

This is a favorite series of mine; the two previous installments were both lovely examples of what's best described as "Fantasy of manners." They've got that Regency setting that I like so much, and the author goes to some trouble to avoid anachronistic language. I have some issues with this cover; the lady is too pretty to be Jane, and the gentleman is a lot younger than I pictured Vincent.  I suppose it might be Melody, whose face is her fortune. In any event, compared to, say, urban fantasy covers featuring women in back-breaking poses, this is hardly objectionable at all. And it doesn't affect how much I'm looking forward to the book, which is "a lot."

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