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Of Noble Family

(Glamourist Histories #5)

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,645 ratings  ·  284 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
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Published April 28th 2015 by Audible Studios
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,645 ratings  ·  284 reviews


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Bradley
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sunil
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
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Jaylia3
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
3.5

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
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Kaitlin
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sanaa
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[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  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jessica Strider
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Billie
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Daphne
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
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Claire
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
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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 Charlo
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Ron
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
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Lisa
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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QNPoohBear
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Alexandra
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
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rivka
4.5 stars for the book. Half a star for the Princess Bride joke.
wishforagiraffe
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
Hilary
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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)
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Hollis
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
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Lauren James
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
God, what a magnificent series. I'm so so sad they're over. I could read 10 more books.
Kate
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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)
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Shelly
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 m ...more
Chuk
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got an advance reading copy of this from Tor.com. 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
Jenny
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
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!
Valerie
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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...
Alleyne Dickens
A deeply emotional conclusion to this series although I hope this is only a hiatus. I've enjoyed them all so much. So well conceived and executed start to finish.
Jean
It was okay, but I felt it could have been more condensed.
Jane Bigelow
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting to see something set in the time of the British regency branch out into other cultures. This is the last of a series, number 5 to be precise. It's the first to go outside of Europe.

Jane and Vincent, accomplished glamourists, take on the difficult journey to Antigua to assist in dealing with the death of Vincent's father. The man was a monster who caused Vincent grievous harm, but there is simply no one else to do it. His family needs him; duty calls; he answers, and Jane goes wi
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 10:04AM  

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Mary Robinette Kowal was the 2008 recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and her short story "For Want of a Nail" won the 2011 Hugo. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year's Best anthologies. She is the author of Shades of Milk and Honey and Glamour in Glass (Tor 2012).

Mary, a professional puppeteer and voice actor, has performed for LazyTown (CB
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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
“She sighed to cover her agitation. “You are insufferable.” “I prefer ‘inscrutable.’” He smiled, softening a little at her teasing tone, and because she had allowed the change of topic. “Inexplicable would be more accurate.” “Inconceivable!” She rested her hand on her ever-increasing stomach. “Not any longer.” He laughed and kissed her on the forehead. “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” “Humph!” But Jane was delighted that she had managed to make him laugh.” 6 likes
“I must not undervalue my work simply because I enjoy it. A working artist understands his worth and lives by it.” 1 likes
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