Release Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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.
HEARTSTONE by Elle Katharine White is (or was) on my January reading list. It has a curious premise, to say the least, and a little risky too IMO. For a book to suggest that it's based on a beloved classic like Pride and Prejudice is asking for immediate comparisons from the get-go.
HEARTSONE has a lot of great things going on for it. Aside from having magnificent dragons as part of the cast, the world building is rich and straightforward. For a fantasy, this isn't bogged down with flowery narrative interludes and wordy descriptions, EKWhite cleverly wove the myth in the dialogue and managed to be very succinct about it.
For me, the highlight of HEARTSTONE lies on the action. These dragons and their riders do not play, they will give you goosebumps when they go into battle. And remember Elizabeth Bennet's sharp tongue? Well, Aliza Bentaine translated Ms. Bennett's keen intelligence by adding some pretty impressive wicked maneuvers which had her outwitting lamias, facing off dragons, and taking shots at some giant mythical worm, while saving her own Mr. Darcy in the form of Alastaire Daired.
HEARSTONE is such a delightful weekend read. I was expecting it to be heavy, but it turned into a total page-turner for me and it being a standalone is an added perk. I'm very satisfied with this debut fantasy novel by EKWhite and I'm hoping this isn't the last of its kind.