There was a magic substance and an English lady and, umm....
December 16, 2010 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Can't-remember-book-filter: I read a preview in the back of another book but I can't remember the title or author of either one...

So I remember reading a preview in the back of some other book. You know, one of those "Coming soon from XYZ Publishing Group, an exciting new...." preview chapter. I think the book the preview was in was sci-fi/fantasy, possibly steampunkish.

The preview chapter read like a pastiche/rewrite of a classic English/Jane Austen novel, except that the characters had access to a form of magic. The slightly spinsterish main character is decorating the drawing room to receive her sister's gentleman caller. She's using some kind of aether/glamor/magic substance to create illusions of sight, sound, and maybe scent (a landscape that moves, a summer breeze, gentle piano music playing in the background, stuff like that). She's apparently quite skilled, and surely any man worth anything would see that, but the bubbly sister is the one considered a catch (something like that anyway - I may be imagining things.)

But yeah, no idea where I read it or what the chapter is a preview of. Anyone find my slightly disjointed description familiar?
posted by yggdrasil to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sounds like Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:06 PM on December 16, 2010

We need a name for this "I saw/read a book that was great but all I can remember is a vague sense of the plot and setting" disorder. I've suffered from it since i learned how to read!
posted by Ranindaripley at 1:23 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This is the first chapter of Shades of Milk and Honey, which is almost certainly the book you are thinking of. It is worth reading.
posted by jeather at 1:32 PM on December 16, 2010

Sidhedevil and jeather have it.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:17 PM on December 16, 2010

You've already found it, but I'll chime in to let you know that the rest of the book is as good or better than the first chapter.
posted by bookdragoness at 9:31 AM on December 17, 2010

I call it Bookphasia
posted by jaimystery at 6:44 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

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