I have had this book on my TBR list for quite a while now. I don’t remember what drew me to buying it; I imagine that it was because it was fan fiction of one of my favorite Jane Austen novels, Pride and Prejudice. I don’t think I read the review though, or even the summary, because as much as I love JA, and am always up for giving some fan fiction a chance, a fantasy re-telling of the story would have been one step to far for me. But for whatever reason I picked this up, and I am kinda mostly really glad that I did.
Now, I don’t read much fantasy. In fact, I generally don’t read fantasy at all. So the beginning of the book I found challenging – it just dropped me right into the place with all of these creatures and language I apparently should have known about. I would think that a fantasy aficionado would have an easier time that I did. Nevertheless, I persisted.
Once the story started to sound more familiar, I got into it. There were elements I really liked about this book, particularly its characters. I think that I liked Lord Daired more than Mr. Darcy. The author certainly gave us more of an insight into his personality than JA did with Mr. D. I also appreciated Ms. White’s nod to Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy coming out of the water with a white shirt clinging to him. No spoilers, but Lord D apparently has much the same physique. In fact, the characters were generally as likeable, or in some cases even more so, than their original counterparts. Many had been modernized so as not to be quite so annoying (like Mrs. B and Lydia, aka Leyda).
The story is more than just a retelling of P&P with dragons and gryphons and other creatures. It has its own story going on – a war against the humans and the creatures that support them vs those creatures that do not. Lord Daired is a warrior in the fight of good vs evil. There is a lot of fighting and a complicated war and magical creatures and fantasy-type words that meant nothing to me. This is where I think someone who really likes the genre would appreciate this book more than I did. The ending deviates dramatically from the original, but the love story remains the same.
Still not a fan of fantasy, but if you are, this one is worth a read.