I didn't have much room to gush over Portlander Mary Robinette Kowal's beguiling Jane Austen/magic mashup novel Shades of Milk and Honey, but it really is the best blend of supernatural with Regency romance. I know, I know, you're probably sick in the pants of Austen-meets-blank novels, but Shades is fresh, seamless, and charming, imbuing the Austen parlor life with a sort of magic called "glamours," a womanly pursuit where spells are folded and woven and knit into pieces of art and music. Basically, instead of listening to a bunch of bored and desperate spinsters talk about the aesthetic merits of English gardens, Kowal has them talk about the use of magic in painting and pianoforte music and facelifts. PLUS: The action is action-y with swords fights and explosions of pent-up repression. Ka-pow.

Kowal reads tonight at the Powell's in Beavertron at 7 pm. Expect attendees in empire-waisted finery.