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Of Noble Family

(Glamourist Histories #5)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,931 ratings  ·  312 reviews
The final book of the acclaimed Glamourist Histories is the magical adventure that might result if Jane Austen walked on the darker side of the Regency...

Jane and Vincent have finally gotten some much-needed rest after their adventures in Italy when Vincent receives word that his estranged father has passed away on one of his properties in the West Indies. His brother, who
Hardcover, 572 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Tor Books
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,931 ratings  ·  312 reviews

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Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fairly satisfying conclusion to the Regency Romance Magical series by Kowal.

It wraps up the series with a birth. It's the logical focus after what happened earlier in the series and the tragedy of losing a child while on the run and using glamour. Everyone knows that Glamour can make an expectant mother to lose their child, after all. It had nothing to do with being chased by Napoleon. *looks askance*

The other nice part of this novel was the plot of Vincent's father's death and the d
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2015
After several magical adventures in Europe, accomplished glamourists Jane and Vincent are ready for some downtime, but then Vincent receives some unexpected news: his father has passed away, and his brother needs him to take care of the estate.

Come out to Antigua, they said. You'll sign a few papers and go home, they said.

Things turns out to be much more complicated than that. Vincent's relationship with his abusive father has always been fraught, and soon after arriving in Antigua, he finds him
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I am going to miss Jane and Vincent. Of Noble Family is the married couple’s fifth and final adventure in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist History series set in an alternate Regency Britain enhanced by glamour, the loveliest system of magic I’ve encountered. But while their glamoured displays are often breathtaking, Jane and Vincent have taken ether-based illusions far beyond the ubiquitous drawing room decorations created by accomplished young women. In previous books they’ve found practical, ...more
Lisa Wolf
A fabulous end to a favorite series!
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

I always think of these books are being fairly light. This is probably because the first book set that sort of tone - but things have gotten pretty dark for Jane and Vincent since then, dealing with both personal and social issues of all shapes and sizes, and this book continues on that theme.

Vincent receives word of his father's and brother's deaths, and is asked by another brother to go to Antigua to help settle the estate by getting a copy of his father's last will - which will only be rel
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was the end of the series and I am pretty sad it's over becuase this one explored so many great themes. In this story we're following Jane and Vincent as they travel to the West Indies and over to Antigua. There they find a secret that has been buried deep, and a very different way of life to their own.

What I most enjoyed about this one, besides seeing the two characters again as they are pretty great in their own right, was the discussion of slavery and ownership. This book is set in
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-wishlist
[3.5 Stars] A very neat conclusion to the series. I continue to love how this series explores a relationship beyond marriage and all the trials and tribulations that come with life as a couple. I wish there had been more glamour in this one, but for obvious reasons there couldn't be more. Kowal handles delicate topics fairly well for the most part in this book. Not perfectly, but well. I will say though that I wish this had been less about Vincent and more about Jane. I think that might be my bi ...more
Olga Godim
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
As always, the author delivers a solid story, continuing the tale of Jane and Vincent, a loving married couple, a few years after Napoleon’s defeat. Both are talented artist-glamourists, but the British Empire is in mourning for the death of a princess, and glamour, as a frivolous art, is not performed. Perforce, Jane and Vincent enjoy their much-needed vacation in Europe.
For the explanations of glamour, a magic art of illusion, and the protagonists’ previous (mis)adventures, I refer you to the
Jessica Strider
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Pros: considerate treatment of several… delicate issues, wonderful depiction of a loving relationship, interesting plot

Cons: last of the series

Vincent receives word of his father’s demise. His brother, the new Earl of Verbury, has suffered a recent accident and requests that Vincent go to Antigua to deal with affairs on their estate there and look for a possible updated will. Reluctantly Vincent and Jane take ship, where Jane becomes increasingly ill. It’s soon apparent that she’s with child. It
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
It would have five stars, but it's the end of the series, which makes me sad, so it lost a star for emotional distress. At least I know that Jane and Vincent will be okay and will live (mostly) happily ever after, because they'll work hard to make sure they do. ...more
This book was a really good ending to the series, and a really good book on its own. I enjoyed it a lot, and feel like this series has largely gotten better as it went on. I do think the first book was better than the second, but the rest has steadily increased in quality.

What I really enjoyed about this book is that the author didn't shy away from exploring the atrocities that happened in this time and instead made it part of the plot. I was very invested in the story at Antigua, and enjoyed se
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A satisfying finish to the Glamourist Histories Series (the first of the year for me!), the charm of this book will depend on how invested you are in the characters.

A main couple, Jane and Vincent, continue their international adventures and find trouble. Basically, these two should never leave the shores of England for fear of the world ending.

The basic plot deals with “Vincent [receiving] word that his estranged father has passed away on one of his properties in the West Indies”. So they have
Lisa Feld
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an interesting way to end a Regency series, by looking at the colonies and plantations that bankrolled the prosperity of Austen's era, and the people of color who have been invisible in those stories for too long. Kowal clearly did her homework on the cultures involved, and also has her character make common "well-meaning-white-person" mistakes which alienate the people she is trying to get closer to, enabling her to talk openly about issues that don't usually get discussed. The people ...more
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read set in an alt-regency world inspired by Austen. This feels like the last book in the series although there is scope to continue should the author wish.

Essentially this is a look at Britain's sugar/slave colonies, alluded to briefly in Mansfield Park, and the foundation of so many aristocratic fortunes. It's reasonably light (I can imagine a very different scenario written by say Joe Abercrombie!) but thought provoking nonetheless. Many of the slaves had white fathers and, c
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Regency Magic (March & April 2015)

After their ordeals in Italy, Jane and Vincent are enjoying their time in Vienna. They are catching up with Vincent's old mentor, Herr Scholes, as well as enjoying becoming acquainted with Jane's new nephew, Tom, who is the pride and joy of the combined Vincent, Ellsworth and O'Brien families. But the Vincents don't know where they will go next after Vienna. The death of Princess Charlotte
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Perhaps she could paint me with a halo.” “Nothing so explicit. Simply a ray of light emanating from heaven, as if you are favored by God.” “Ah, for that, I only need you seated at my right hand.”
Fitting end to the series: Jane and Vincent must deal with family, that most Austenian of plot movers. But Austen--even glamour--gradually recedes for center stage as our protagonists move far from the shores of England into physical, political and social situations as outside their experience as being
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ah, so here we are at the end of another series. The Glamourist Histories has been a good series overall and I’ve enjoyed spending five books following Jane and Vincent’s adventures. In this last book they are dealing with some pretty heavy stuff including abusive family members and slavery.

I’ll be honest, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. In this final installment we find Jane and Vincent still recovering from their ordeal in Italy. They’ve finally met up with Jane’s family again
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jane and Vincent have spent a happy winter in Vienna with Jane's family. The arrival of Melody's baby, Tom, has brought joy to all their hearts. Then Vincent receives some surprising news which leads Jane and Vincent to the West Indian island of Antigua. Upon their arrival, the learn a shocking secret which will upend their whole lives if they don't stay alert. With a growing sense of foreboding and Vincent not behaving like himself, Jane knows that only she can intervene and manipulate and mast ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Spoilers for the previous four books, I guess.

Things I love about this series:
It's about married people being in love, even after being married for a few years. They even still have sex. With each other. Willingly.
It's about married people having issues and problems - with one another and with the world - and, in general, working them out together.
The magic is really delightful and intriguing.
Kowal confronts relevant issues of the time in both a 19th century and a 21st century way.
Jane is just
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars for the book. Half a star for the Princess Bride joke.
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just when it seems Jane and Vincent are settling down, duty calls Vincent to Antigua to deal with his late father's estates. Once there, the issue of slavery is far worse than they had realized and everything become more complicated than they could possibly have imagined. There's more than just Jane & Vincent at stake now - families depend on them, but there are only so many changes one can make within an established society without risking everyone.

(view spoiler)
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Of Noble Family was excellent. I was talking with someone who thought it was the weakest of the series, because there is so much less action. I can certainly understand that argument (although there is still quite a large amount of action, particularly the last 100 or so pages of the book), but I have always felt that the series was more about Jane and Vincent as people, and not about their escapades, and this book does a whole lot of character work. There's a pretty big twist not too far into t ...more
h o l l i s
This final book was easily my favourite of the series. There has been so much character growth since book one, for all involved, and while some of the subject matter in OF NOBLE FAMILY was less than noble, this unquestionably was the highlight for me. It was emotional and full of surprises and Kowal definitely succeeded in wrapping things up just right.

The Glamourist Histories series isn't for everyone, and I definitely doubted it was even for me (despite my perseverance), but I was glad to hav
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, library
I didn't really care for Of Noble Family. The biggest plot twist felt bait and switch to me.

When Jane and Vincent (view spoiler)
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I got an advance reading copy of this from I think it might be my favourite of the series. They are in another new setting, we see new ways to use glamour, and once again there is adventure and tension without very much violence. (One of the things I like about these books is that the problems usually don't involve shooting or punching people -- there's a bit of that, but mostly the difficulties the characters have to overcome involve other things.) Excellent end for the series with a s ...more
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
I enjoyed this one much more than book four. The stakes seemed higher, there was less annoying repetition, and there were a lot of interesting characters & revelations. Also, I found all the emotional moments felt very real (not good for car and work listening, haha). As far as the audio, MRK is good as always, but I did like having the additional narrators in this one. I think this is the last in the series, and it was a good wrap-up; I don't feel the need for more Jane & Vincent, but more in t ...more
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Maybe the author should have called this "Of Noble Pregnancy" because just about from beginning to end, it was about pregnancies. I have enjoyed Ms. Kowal's other books, but I'm glad she is not going to be writing any books in this series, as I am afraid the next one would have been all about babies and toddlers. Not my cup of tea, I'm afraid. ...more
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, fantasy
Absolutely FABULOUS. I'm really sad that this is the last book of the series, because I've loved reading about Jane and Vincent, but this was a wonderful ending to this great series. Near the end of the book, when there was very real danger for the heroes, I realized just how much I care about these characters. I'm so glad I read these books, and I encourage everybody to read the series! ...more
Rike @ RikeRandom
That ending! It's just as frustrating as the ending of the first novel was only that this time it's actually the ending -.- Aside from that though the novel wasn't that bad. But the ending kind of ruined it... ...more
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was okay, but I felt it could have been more condensed.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 10:04AM  

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Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the Lady Astronaut series and historical fantasy novels: The Glamourist Histories series and Ghost Talkers . She’s the President of SFWA, a member of the award-winning podcast Writing Excuses, and has received the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, four Hugo awards, the RT Reviews award for Best Fantasy Novel, the Nebula, and Locus awards. Stories have a ...more

Other books in the series

Glamourist Histories (6 books)
  • Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories, #1)
  • Glamour in Glass (Glamourist Histories, #2)
  • Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories, #3)
  • Valour and Vanity (Glamourist Histories, #4)
  • The Complete Glamourist Histories: (Shades of Milk and Honey, Glamour in Glass, Without a Summer, Valour and Vanity, Of Noble Family)

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