Review – Valour & Vanity

Valour and Vanity, by Mary Robinette KowalValour & Vanity, Mary Robinette Kowal

These books seem to be just perfect for my brain at the moment. I read this on the train, more or less in one gulp. You’ve got to love that one of the most important threads of the story is the love between Vincent and Jane, and how it gets them through everything, no matter what. And despite how far their acts of derring-do have come from their Austen-esque beginnings in Shades of Milk and Honey, the development is clear. This time, the trouble they get into grows out of everything before (rather than being a whole new problem), which makes it tidier.

Likewise, their personal relationship grows out of everything that’s gone before; Jane’s miscarriage, Vincent’s time in captivity, the effects that had on them. They trust each other more now, and they’re readier to work through problems than despair. (Which is not to say Vincent doesn’t have some black moods in this novel. He does, in a way that very much reflects on the way some men even now feel less when their wives are the ones bringing in the money.)

I think really the blurb on the back gave a little too much away; knowing, for example, that they’re victims of ‘an elaborate heist’, I immediately began to suspect where the heist began and who was involved. But it doesn’t give away the motive, fortunately, nor what Vincent and Jane end up doing to fix the situation.

It’s a lot of fun, as I’d expected, and I enjoyed the inclusion of Lord Byron as well.

Rating: 4/5

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