The mention of Jane Austen or Regency England together with fantasy can be either a good thing or a bad thing. I was not that enamored with Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, for example. Although there were things about it I liked, I never really identified with the characters enough to truly care about them or was caught up into the story. The Magicians and Mrs. Quent captured more of the quality of Jane Eyre, especially in one-third of the book, and I'm waiting for the sequel to pass judgment. My knowledge of the time period comes primarily from Jane herself, Bronte's Jane Eyre, and Georgette Heyer's well-researched romances of the era. I have not been one to do much reading of Austen wannabes and have sworn off most Heyer imitators as well, preferring to stick with the best. Settling into Shades of Milk and Honey felt like settling into an Austen book. It catches the ambiance, the pacing, the phrasing. The characters and story continually catch one in looking for Marianne and Elinor in the two sisters, for Mrs. Bentley in Mrs. Ellsworth, for Mr. Darcy in Vincent, and for Mr. Knightley in Mr. Dunkirk. And yet this is not just a pastiche or imitation. Just as these same characteristics are what one looks for when moving from one Austen novel to another, yet each is unique in its own way, Kowal is also able to build her own story and characters while still evoking the atmosphere. She acknowledges that she moves further away from the principles of her preceptress in the denouement of the story, but perhaps more in the direction of a Bronte rather than modern times. I enjoyed the story very much, reading it in a single afternoon. I was engaged by the characters, as well as by the addition of the fantasy element of glamour in a way that was not intrusive or jarring but that was central to the story. I recommend it for an entertaining read.