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    perfect fantasy retelling of a timeless romance

    I really enjoyed this fantasy take on Pride & Prejudice! It had all the core pieces of the original tale, with the addition of dragons and wyverns and hobgoblins and daring heroic feats. For the first half of the book, I had a lot of fun figuring out how each new character fit into the old narrative, and I looked forward to certain plot points in the kind of way you do when rereading an old favorite. It had that kind of familiarity, but I enjoyed seeing how the author twisted and tweaked the original tales in a way to fit the world of Arle in fulfilling and unpredictable ways. Even knowing how the romance would go beforehand, I really wondered how the author would redeem the hero before the end. He was a smug bastard in a way that would make Mr. Darcy look gallant at first impression. But there is more to the book than a retelling of Pride & Prejudice, and I think any fantasy fan could read the book and enjoy it (though Pride & Prejudice fans might enjoy it more!). The fantasy part of the story shines. The world-building behind Arle was very well executed, from the inclusion of many fantasy creatures, the likes of which usually only seen in top-tier high fantasy, like D&D and World of Warcraft, and solid mythology to root every fantasy element as firmly into the story as the mannerisms and social expectations of the Regency era. The author takes a high concept--Pride & Prejudice with dragons--and makes it work on the deepest levels of novel writing. The dragons are not a veneer plastered over Jane Austen's words, and neither does the original story intrude on a fantasy tale better left without it. Instead, the two concepts are masterfully entwined. I highly recommend this to lovers of high-fantasy and Regency romances (I thought I was the only one! ha!), for realistic romance, realistic heroines (oh, so many!), and an overarching theme of bonds between family, friends, lovers, and dragons.
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