Elle Katharine White
Print Length 352 pages
Publisher Harper Voyager
Published Jan. 17, 2017
A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & 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.
There are an abundant of Pride and Prejudice retellings out there. Some better than others, some should not have been printed and others that should be praised for their creativity. Heartstone falls into this group. This is literary the best re-telling of Pride and Prejudice I have read. So much so that it kick started a two week long Pride and Prejudice binge watching marathon, starting with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, followed by the BBC Pride and Prejudice and ending with watching the Kiera Knightley Pride and Prejudice (twice).
The Riders have arrived to Hart’s End, where Aliza and her sisters live. Riders are warriors that take commission to ensure the safety of a community, which of course means that they are ripped and fierce. Their purpose to rid the place of the gryphons who are killing their cattle and their children. Mr. Bentaine, Aliza’s daddy, talked the Lord of the Manor into contracting them after his youngest daughter Rina was killed by a gryphon attack. Aliza’s momma of course sees this as a way to secure her daughters’ future through marriage. Thus the retelling of Pride and Prejudice with dragons, talking dragons did I mention that yet. The book follows the original fairly well, until you get into the battle scenes that of course were not in Jane Austen’s tale. The battle scenes were violent, adrenaline pumping roller coaster rides where you worried for the Bentaine sisters and the Riders even as you were cheering them on.
The world building is seductive, very little is left to chance. From the opening scene with Tobble the hobgoblin, to major battle the details are crisp and vivid. The intimate relationship between the dragons and the Riders serves to buffer the high society distain for those of lower ranking the nakla. Castle Pendragon is described in such detail that I wish to vocation there just so I can view the dragons flying overhead. The meaning behind the title of the book is beautiful and made me want my very own heartstone, atlas I do not live in this world though so that is impossible.
Alistair Daired is the leader of his group of Riders. He is every bit of Darcy with his intense attitude, his warrior strength and his backhanded compliments. His fierce loyalty to his friends and his protective nature of them made me love him almost as much as I love Mr. Darcy. His straightforward, no nonsense mannerisms with Aliza will get him in trouble and yet it pairs perfectly with his personality. His dragon, Akarra, gives him a more gentler side. Her intervention on his behalf with Aliza is adorable.
Aliza Bentaine is every bit as obstinate and headstrong as Elizabeth Bennett was. Her love for her sisters shines through in all that she does. Her defense of the little people such as the hobgoblins, shows her caring side. Her acceptance of both Akarra, and her ability to stand up for what is right make her the perfect “Lizzie”.
As this is a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice, you can expect some romance. Which there is, but do not expect too much swoon. Alistair does bring it when he needs too (marriage proposal, rescuing) but like with the original Mr. Darcy there just isn’t that type of romance in his world. This may bother some readers but it fits with it being a re-telling and so I was perfectly content.
Heartstone is a fabulous re-telling of Pride and Prejudice. Alistair and Aliza are beautifully casted as the new Lizzie and Darcy. The added addition of the dragons and the threat of the Tekari, made this paranormal loving reader all too happy.
My Rating 5 out of 5 stars
Favorite Quote “You’ve defeated me.”
Anjey- Aliza’s older sister
Leyda- Aliza’s silly sister
Mari- Aliza’s serious sister
Daired’s best friend
head of the Daired Family