A fantasy novel inspired by Pride and Prejudice, the world of Heart Stone is full of monsters and a select class of people that kill the monsters while riding dragons. The fantasy elements did not really grab me, they were fine. Nothing too silly or cliche. So this takes us to the meat of it: the reworking of a beloved classic. Full disclosure Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books and I usually stay clear of rip-offs of Austen’s work (major exception being Clueless which is delightful).
So let’s break it down. The author changes the names slightly so Darcy is now Daired, and Elizabeth is now Aliza. All the P&P plot points are here: the letter, the sister’s heartbreak, the friend’s marriage to a fool. Some things are changed and some characters have very different fates than in the original. It’s all fine. It is a quick read and does not ask too much of the reader. One of my biggest problems with these kind of reworks is it sets the author up to fail, unless you are actually as wry and insightful as Austen this should not be attempted.
My biggest problem with this book actually came about after I had finished and I read the acknowledgments page. White makes no mention of Austen. On the back of the book they say it takes elements of Pride and Prejudice and moves them to a fantasy setting, but the author does not mention it. Maybe this should not bother me, but if you are going to take a book and steal its plot point-by-point you should probably profess some love for the original. Maybe that’s just me.