Hello people! I may have requested some new titles on NetGalley (I really was a bad bookworm, I know!) and since I was lucky enough to be approved, it seems likely that we would get some new reviews, yay!
Title: Miss Bennet’s Dragon
Series: Jane Austen Fantasy #1
Author: M Verant
Page count: 454
Expected Publication Date: May 2nd, 2021
An unforgettable fantasy retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that is romantic, funny, and more relevant than ever.
Elizabeth Bennet is hiding a forbidden power. She can speak to draca, the fire-breathing creatures kept as status symbols by English gentry. If only Mr. Darcy would stop noticing… and hinting at his own dark secret.
When Elizabeth’s sister falls deathly ill, the cure lies in the mysteries of draca. Elizabeth, aided by her brilliant sister Mary, defies restrictive English society to hunt for lost draca lore. She must hurry. England’s war with France has drawn other hunters, and they have darker goals.
Elizabeth’s search leads her to the fabulous Pemberley estate, home of the entitled and infuriating man whose proposal she scorned. There, Elizabeth’s worlds smash together—protocol against passion, and exultation against the risk of love.
But the stakes are greater than her sister’s life. Elizabeth must test herself against a distant war.
And her enemy is not who she thought.
“Thrilling, superbly paced, and moving. I highly recommend this novel to fans of Jane Austen, as well as to anyone who has ever pondered the mystery of dragons.” – Katherine Sturtevant, author of At the Sign of the Star
“A historical romance that encompasses the Napoleonic Wars, arcane marriage laws, and women with the power to command the fiercest, most dangerous, and wisest of beasts.” – Vanessa MacLaren-Wray, author of All That Was Asked
Miss Bennet’s Dragon is a stand-alone story that begins a trilogy of Jane Austen Fantasy.
I never heard of this book, but then I went to NetGalley to leave a review and here it was! And how could ignore it? Pride and Prejudice plus dragons? Count me in! And I have to confess that I am quite a fan of Lizzy and Mr. Darcy. I just had to read this!!
And it was just so good!! Sure, it is not perfect, and there were a couple of things that I did not really enjoy, but it was sort of mesmerizing. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. It was just so fascinating! And it is, for a good part of it, more a mashup than a retelling. And I loved it!
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a hungry firedrake is an irritating beast.
And we have dragons! They are not enormous creature, they are the size of a domestic animal. They can vary, because there are different kinds of dragons, with different abilities and peculiarities, but for the most part they are, in size, like pets. And they are a sort of glorified pets. I thought of this part like strange and quite unbelievable, because sure, your pet is a dragon (and how cool it sounds??) so how is it possible that so little is known about them? But then I realized that this wasn’t so far from the mark. I mean, we have dogs and cats as pets, but we do not know so much about them either, at least in some respects, so this makes sense too. It was maybe something that could have been developed a bit better, because come on! The total disinterest in dragons was astounding, truly. But on the other hand, even if we know a lot about our more traditional pets, it is also true that it is a really recent thing the idea that they have a proper mind, and emotions and we have started to study all of this, but in the present days, so I think that, on this, I can cut some slack to the author.
Anyway… they have dragons!!! I know, I know, I have said it quite a lot of times but… dragons! And I really liked the way in which they are portrayed in there, even if sometimes they are just some glorified pets.
So, I loved the dragon parts and I made it abundantly clear, but there were quite a lot of other things to like. Elizabeth is really well done, she is quite “fateful” to the original Elizabeth Bennet, and I loved her. And the same goes for Mr. Darcy. From a certain point on, the plot diverge from the original Pride and Prejudice, but this is quite obvious, but they both stay quite in characters. And I loved them and their relationship so much! We have so many good dialogues, witty and interesting, and this helped the reading quite a lot. The other characters are interesting too, but some of them came out like carticatures of the original ones, Mother Bennet is one example (and even if she is quite a mockery on the original book, she is somehow worse in there), but she is not the only one. And this was one of the things that I didn’t appreciate. The other one is the relationship between Elizabeth and her sister Lydia. Or better, it is not the relationship per se, it is that Elizabeth is too naive about her, I cannot say more because I don’t want to spoiler anything for you, but she is quite obtuse in her naivety. And since Lizzy is quite rational and, usually, smart, this was annoying.
But those two points were the only one that didn’t sit too well with me. All the rest I simply loved! And I have to mention Mary and Georgiana. They are quite great characters in there, and they were quite surprising, each one in her own personal way. They get more development in there, and they are their own persona. I liked this quite a lot.
The writing is fluid, and we get some humor in there, and all things merge wonderfully. I had a great time with this book, and I am looking forward to the other books, because this was a really nice surprise.
One last thing, since I talked about this somewhere above: this is not really a retelling, it is also not really a mash-up, I cannot really say what this is, maybe a sort of fanfiction? But whatever this is, it is good!
Maybe 3.75 is more accurate, but… oh well!
And that’s all! Have you read this book? Or do you want to?? And what other books like this one do you recommend? Let me know!!