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Pride and Prejudice and Dragons: A Review of Elle K. White's Heartstone

Elle K. White's Heartstone is a YA fantasy adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved classic, Pride and Prejudice, set in a world of dragons.

Aliza Bentaine is relieved when a band of Riders is sent to protect her home from a horde of wild gryphons, having lost one of her sisters to them not long ago. However, arrogant dragon rider Alastair Daired proves to be almost as antagonistic as the gryphons he is sworn to protect her family from! When the Greater Lindworm awakens and begins to ravage everything she holds dear, will Alastair and Aliza put their differences aside to do what is right?

Full disclosure: I am a huge Janeite and was delighted to read this Fantasy AU of one of her best works. The author does a great job of transferring elements from the original work over to her own setting. It is the perfect example of a book based on another book that is equally accessible to both readers familiar and unfamiliar to the previous work. Readers of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice will notice direct similarities, as well as the many differences Heartstone provides. I was pleasantly surprised that Charis (this world's version of Caroline Bingley) was much less unpleasant than in the original, as was Lady Catriona (Lady Catherine De Bourgh's stand-in) of all people!

Rina (Heartstone's version of Kitty) dying at the talons of the gryphon before the story begins was an absolute shock to me. It gave the Bentaine family more depth and allowed the reader to really sympathize with them and recognize the seriousness of the story's conflict. As always, Aliza and Alastair's and Anjey and Brysney's romantic interludes were a delight to read, as they are of coursed based on Darcy and Elizabeth and Jane and Bingley, but even without having any context for Pride and Prejudice, I feel that I would have found their romances just as enthralling. All in all, this is a fantastic reinvention of the original tale, and I look forward to seeing what Elle K. White has to write in the future!

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