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Publisher's Summary

Jane and Vincent have finally gotten some much-needed rest after their adventures in Italy - then Vincent receives word that his estranged father has passed away on one of his properties in the West Indies. His brother, who manages the estate, is overwhelmed, and no one else in his family can go. Grudgingly, out of filial duty, the couple decide to go.

The sea voyage is long, and Jane spends enough time unable to perform glamour that toward the end of the trip she discovers she is with child. They are overjoyed, but when they finally arrive at the estate to complete what they expect to be routine legal tasks, they realize that nearly everything they came expecting to find was a lie. Also the entire estate is in disarray, with horrifying conditions and tensions with the local slave population so high, they are close to revolt. Jane and Vincent's sense of peril is screaming out for them to flee, but Vincent cannot stand to leave an estate connected with his family in such a condition. They have survived many grand and terrifying adventures in their time, but this one will test their skills and wits more than any they have ever encountered before, this time with a new life hanging in the balance.

Mary Robinette Kowal's Of Noble Family is the final book of the acclaimed Glamourist Histories.

©2015 Mary Robinette Kowal (P)2015 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Of Noble Family

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Masterpiece!

As this is the 5th book in this series, I came to it with many expectations. I can honestly say that every one was met, surpassed, and left me wondering why I had sold the book's potential so short.

By several chapters in I was already going on about the narration--wonderful. I was surprised by the inclusion of other narrators since Mary Robinette Kowal has done the work by herself for all of the previous books, but the performance was so smooth that I easily lost myself in the narrative.

I felt myself drawn into this story, feeling the heartaches and frustrations as though they were my own. I was moved to furious rage and felt desperate powerlessness as well as wonder and joy. In short, I was transported into this story like few I've ever experienced. I laughed out loud and was moved to tears. I stopped in the middle of chapters to bug my wife with the "amazing thing" I'd just read.

There is so much I want to say about this story, but I don't want to give away spoilers, and I don't have space to write so much here. And I'd much rather you read the book for yourself than listen to me talk about it.

I HIGHLY recommend this book! Of Noble Family is easily one of the best books I've ever read. I love it!

And if you haven't read the first four, do that!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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How to ruin a good audio series

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Mary Robinette Kowal has narrated all prior books in this series, and they've been great. What possessed anyone to change the presentation to a performance is beyond me. The male narrator ............. talks ......... like this ...... and ....... it's really ............. annoying. The handoff between character voices isn't particularly smooth either.

It was really difficult to persevere through this book and it's a disappointing latest installment to the series. I don't think I could get through another one like this.

6 people found this helpful

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The mens voices had too much Shatner for me

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The, pausing, was, , , , insufferable. Ms. Kowal's performance was wonderful as usual. Luckily that was a good portion of the book. By the end, I don't know if it had gotten better or I was just used to it by then, the men's voices weren't so bad.

Do you think Of Noble Family needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I would love to hear how little Charles grows up and what he does with his life. Does he ever become Lord Verbury or not because his father was disowned?

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent save for male narrator's voice

When I first started listening I almost stopped because the male narrator was so distracting, awkward and out of place with the rest of the audio series.
I stuck it out because all previous books had been so excellent. I was eventually able to overlook the disappointing casting choice and ended up quite satisfied despite the fact that I still find his voice ill-suited to the role. Mary Kowal does wonderful as usual. The other woman's voice was superb as well. Story was very well told, captivating, and emitted powerful emotion.

1 person found this helpful

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Best one yet

I adore this series. MRK pulled out all the stops for this one. Her twists were brilliant. She had me weeping with joy and sadness. Jane and Vincent are two of my favorite characters. And while I'm sad to see the end of this series, the journey with them has been wonderful.

1 person found this helpful

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Best One Yet!

This book was by far the best in the series. I liked the first book very much because of the uniqueness of the story line. The rest of the series grew with each book. It took me awhile though to get used to men's voices in this book. Most of the time the voice was too slow. Especially when compared to the female voices. This book is definitely filled lots of drama and intrigue. Great listen!

1 person found this helpful

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The Women Are Worth the Listen

I was worried about picking up this title due to other reviews who criticized various aspects of the narration. I’ve read this series many times but wanted to listen to it, and was surprised to see that Mary Robinette was not doing all the narration herself, though this was a pleasant surprise as I didn’t like the idea of a white woman performing the Creole present throughout the book. Others had mentioned Prentice Onayemi’s narration as lacking and Shatner-esque, but having listened to it myself I’d like to give a more detailed review of the narrators.

There is not much to say about Mary Robinette after four books. As the author she knows her characters well, and her background in theater gives her plenty of experience with narration. I have many books performed by her and I enjoy them all.

The important point about Prentice Onayemi’s narration is that it is indeed stilted and full of pauses *when he is doing the voices of the white characters*. Since Vincent has the second greatest amount of dialogue this is indeed a problem, but it is somewhat countered by the fact that he does the voices of the black men extremely well, and his prose narration from Vincent’s viewpoint at the end also reads smoothly. All in all, I think he does a good job and does not detract from the immersion.

But the star of the show is Robin Miles. I’m familiar with her narration from listening to her perform N.K Jemisin’s work and was ECSTATIC to see her listed here, and from the first word she read I was hooked. Mary Robinette has an in-depth discussion of language and accent in this book’s afterword (which is sadly not included! A travesty), and being able to hear all the differences of accent and voice between Louisa, Nkiruka, Amy, and Dr. Jones was marvelous. Ms. Miles knows what she is doing and makes the black women come alive.

So yes, the narration is much different from what we’ve had from Shades of Milk and Honey onward, but it is an exceptionally well-executed change, and since this book is my favorite of the series I’m even more happy that they pulled out all the stops for it. Listen to it to enjoy the narration of Mary Robinette, Robin Miles, and Prentice Onayemi’s black voices, because those easily overshadow everything else.

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WARM, WITTY, SATISFYING TALES !!!

Dear Author :

I am pausing to review at chapter 4.
The series has been delightful.
Absolutely one of my favorites.
Thank you !

But I wrote today to express that
I am dearly missing YOUR VOICES.
This is particularly true for Vincent and Jane's father,
and, to a lesser extent, for Jane herself.

I will happily finish the book,
as I love it's world and characters,
and am already in suspense :)

But I am deeply missing
your wonderful voice portrayal of Vincent.
Current voice portrayal lacks the strength, depth, vulnerability, warmth and humor of your original.

I love your Vincent portrayal
as a model for a strong and tender man of integrity.

Thanks again for this fresh and inventive twist :) in the beloved English Regency genre.

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Story great the reading not so much

Struggled to get through this novel due to the change in reading style. The male voices were not great.

1 reader is better then 2 or 3

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AMAZING!!!

Thank You!!! I Loved Every Book!!! Never Stop Writing You're Amazing!!! I felt like i was there with them every step of the way!!!

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  • Redwit28
  • 02-12-20

Truly awful male narrator

Ms Kowal's story continues at a good pace, with evil back to haunt the couple and a new setting and new plans. But this time Audible has a male narrator - quite why when Mary Robinette has managed just fine before is unclear - particularly this narrator. He appears unable to read coherently, so he has to pause between practically every word while he works out what the next one is. Frequently sounding like one of those computerised voices, devoid of emotion and monotonal, it's painful to listen to. You.....my love......are......a......force of.......nature......when.......you are......annoyed. OH FOR GOODNESS SAKE GET ON WITH IT!! I will note his name and never ever make the mistake of ordering an audible book if he is narrating, it really is that bad. Try a sample first and see if you can put up with it for 15 hours. On the other hand, loved Ms Onayemi's contribution, spirited and musical and a complete contrast to Robin Miles.