Saturday, October 30, 2021

Miss Bennet’s Dragon (Jane Austen Fantasy #1)

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Miss Bennet’s Dragon is a charming Pride and Prejudice homage with dragons by M. Verant. Released 2nd May 2021, it's 380 pages and is available in print, audiobook, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.

I've been a lifelong fan of Jane Austen and revisit her oeuvre regularly. This pastiche is clearly not Austen, however, I can say in all fairness it is a charmingly written and engaging tribute which is reminiscent of the broader strokes of that book and whether the reader is a fan of the principal works of Austen or not, will find a fun and worthwhile read. 

Familiarity with Pride and Prejudice is not necessary to the enjoyment (and indeed, I sincerely hope people who haven't read P&P previous to reading this volume will be inspired to seek out and enjoy the original). The book is a standalone and the first in a series, so no backstory introduction is necessary. 

The narrative plot and progression are well paced and I never found it dragging or difficult. The world building (along with the different kinds of draca and their characteristics) are well thought out and appealingly developed. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the world and its descriptions. 

There is more violence and bloodshed than in most 19th century costume dramas, but nothing at all truly objectionable in the descriptions on-page and all of the violence and conflict are in context. I'm intrigued and looking forward to more from this author. Definitely one to keep an eye on. 

Four stars. Rigidly inflexible fans of the canonical works of Austen might have to avert their eyes occasionally but for the rest of us who just love a good read, this will satisfy those cravings.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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