Every character in this novel is clearly identifiable from Austen, and not in a positive way. The magical aspect would have been interesting had it led to any actual conflict whatsoever. Instead, it was merely a sidebar in poorly-written Austen pastiche. I mean really, who creates a magical invisibility shield and then doesn't use it as a plot point? Or gives characters abilities that allow complete illusions of wealth, but then doesn't allow them to be used for any plot reasons whatsoever? There was no real plot, no real characterization, and no actual honor done to any of the genres that Kowal attempted to stitch together. I've read Austen, Radcliffe, Burney, and many other novelists from the Regency era, and every single one of them uses the modern spellings of show, choose, luncheon, and tease as opposed to Kowal, who felt the need to jar the reader out of the story (and the time period!) with shew, chuse, nuncheon, and teaze. And even if Georgian writers did use Medieval spellings, a modern writer using modern grammatical structures should use modern spelling and rely on their research and storytelling ability to take us back to the appropriate era. On top of all this, the writing itself was just bad. "[Her] black curls lay on her neck like a necklace of jet" is a terrible sentence! Where was the editor to suggest "throat" and the removal of the adjective "black"? Every other page brought fresh frustration, and I spent every page from the first "shew" wondering why I was still reading it, but hoping against hope that it would get better. It didn't.Two stars only because I reserve one-star reviews for DNF books. Ugh.