Hey all, Dani here.
Today I am here with a review of a book that I absolutely devoured. It actually came in both my January Lit-Cube box and my January Novel Tea Club box, so I’m guessing it’s going to be a hit with the book crowd.
Of course, I’m talking about Heartstone, which is basically a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in a land where creatures such as dragons, wyverns, and hobgoblins exist. And I’m just going to go ahead and admit this here and now…I loved this book so much and will probably be gushing about how wonderful it was, and also recommending that everyone pick up a copy as soon as possible.
Okay, so let’s get this started.
A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms
They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.
Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.
Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.
It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.
Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.
First of all, can we just talk about that cover? Seriously, it is a wonderfully lovely cover and I actually enjoy just staring at it.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’ll also admit to being a bit of a fan of Jane Austen’s works. I’ve read them numerous times, and I usually get excited when I hear that something (book/TV series/web series/movie) is an adaptation of an Austen novel, or even better is simply inspired by them. Of course, I’m also a little leery too because some just miss the mark.
I am so pleased to say that this one did not disappoint me at all. From the first person perspective of Aliza Bentaine, to the initial meeting of Alastair Daired (who kicked a poor little hobgoblin), and continuing on through the beloved tale we all know, this was just a delightful experience.
Obviously with the dangers of this world’s creatures, there are some deviations from the original tale, but they all work beautifully. It is not at all a spoiler to mention here that Aliza’s sister Katarina has been killed by gryphons even before the story begins (seriously, this fact is mentioned in the summary), so we aren’t juggling as many sisters, which is nice, but all the other characters are present. Oh, and I’ll also say that I enjoyed Leyda’s story too–ever since watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and reading the accompanying books, I admit to being more invested in Lydia’s part in the plot.
I have to say this here: I loved the character of Charis Brysney. In most adaptations of Pride and Prejudice I am not that much of a fan of Caroline Bingley, but here she was a character I truly cared for and respected. I can’t say much more than that because I really try to avoid revealing something that might be spoilery.
So basically, this tale is a great blend of a narrative we are familiar with and original elements that create a truly magical story. I will definitely be reading this book over and over again. I smiled, I worried about the characters, and I wondered what would happen next. I especially wondered how the main plot elements would be handled in this new setting, and I was nothing less than impressed.
Elle Katharine White’s writing was entrancing, and I feel that Heartstone is a beautiful and fabulous adaptation. Basically, I can say that this was a rather strong debut novel, and I am eagerly looking forward to what the future holds for this new writer.
Obviously, my rating is 5 stars, but I wish I could give it more. Honestly, if you are at all a fan of Jane Austen and fantasy, please pick up a copy of this book. You will not be disappointed.