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Publisher's Summary

Most people were blissfully unaware that England was overrun by dragons. Only those born with preternatural hearing could hear and converse with dragonkind, and even those rarely came into their hearing before they were fifteen. It was not Elizabeth’s fault that she discovered the truth about dragons when she was only four years-old.

It was also not Elizabeth’s fault that the old tatzelwurm, Rumblkins, who lived in the woods near Longbourn House befriended her. Really, he would have attached himself to anyone who fed him dried cod and scratched behind his ears.

So clearly, it could not be her fault when Rumblkins led her to a nest of endangered fairy dragon eggs that the Pendragon Treaty compelled her to save. Unfortunately her father does not agree.

Thomas Bennet, dragon-lore expert, faithful member of the dragon-hearing society, the Blue Order, and Keeper of the local wyvern, Longbourn, has a dragon-sized problem on his hands. At eleven years-old, his second-oldest daughter is hopelessly fascinated with all things dragon-related. But his wife and other daughters lack the ability to hear dragons, so the world of the Blue Order must remain hidden from them.

Now faced with an abandoned clutch of fairy dragon eggs to care for, the careful balance he walks between the needs of his jealous estate dragon, Elizabeth’s incorrigible draw toward dragons and continued secrecy from the rest of the family hangs in jeopardy. If only Elizabeth would be a more conventional child!

But how can a girl who shuns traditional ladylike pursuits to play with dragons ever be conventional? Does dragon-hearing society have a place for such an oddity as her?

Prequel to Pemberley: Mr. Darcy's Dragon

Jane Austen meets Anne McCaffrey - a must for lovers of Dragon Riders of Pern fans.

©2018 Maria Grace (P)2020 Maria Grace

What listeners say about A Proper Introduction to Dragons

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A Perfect Prequel

This story is listed as book 4 but it's a prequel. It tells the story of a young Elizabeth as she meets all the different dragons and learns about the Dragon Accords and the Blue Order. Even though Elizabeth is 12 years old in this story it doesn't read of feel like a kids book. She is still the caring but headstrong Lizzy we've come to know and love.

Benjamin Fife's narration is wonderful as always. Each dragon has their own voice and personality matching perfectly to the authors descriptions in the book. His regency accent for the humans in the story was spot on also. He seems to be really enjoying narrating these books and that comes through and brings the story and the characters to life.

This book can be read at anytime in the series without spoilers. I actually read the kindle book of a Proper Introduction to Dragons before starting the audiobooks and since it explains so much about the different dragons and the Blue Order I think reading it first enhanced my understanding of the Dragons and their place and importance in the other books.
I was given this book at my request for an honest review.

4 people found this helpful

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ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS

If you have not yet started this series l recommend that you listen to this, book 4 first ,THEN continue on from book one. This series for me was incredible, listening to Benjamin Fife narrate all those many dragons and paranormal was great. I am adding this well written series to my top 10.

1 person found this helpful

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Delightful Prequel

This was a great prequel! I loved getting to come back to an amazing series and spend more time with characters I adore. I also loved getting to see how miss Lizzy got to know dragons the way she did and how she was with them even from the start. It was also really nice to see her develop friendships with the dragons she later counts as some of her closest friends. If you enjoy this series then this is a must read story! And if you don’t know this series this is a great introduction to this mix of Jane Austen’s characters and dragons! I love this series so much and just want more stories with these characters. The dragons have so many different and unique personalities along with customs and rituals. This story also gives hints of things which later become integral to the story. If you love pride and prejudice or dragons then this series is a very good one to read. I listened to the audiobook of it and the narrator did a fantastic job!

1 person found this helpful

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Jane Austen’s Dragons is a delightful series!

A prequel to the series, this book shows you how Elizabeth discovered dragons and developed her first relationships with them. We also get an eye-opening view of the elder Bennet’s marriage troubles.

I must admit that after riding high from the ending of Book 3, I was disappointed to find that Book 4 was a prequel. While the prequel is good, I want more Elizabeth and Darcy!

Jane Austen’s Dragons is a delightful series by Maria Grace. Dragons and humans live side by side throughout the world. As dragons have the ability to influence what people think they are seeing, most people have no idea that dragons even exist. Only a special few humans have the ability to talk with dragons and see them for what they truly are. This is a magnificent retelling of Jane Austen’s amazing stories.

The narrator, Benjamin Fife, is perfect for this series. I got lost in Jane Austen’s world and didn’t want to come up for air. Easter Egg – Click here to read an interview between Maria Grace and Benjamin Fife. You must read the paragraph above the Longbourn blooper real link and then listen to the 30-second clip. I laughed out loud!

Source - I was given a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Michele, AudiobookLife.com

1 person found this helpful

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Really is a Introduction to Dragons

This was a good story and help define many things in previous books. I was Rather confused because This should have been Book #1. Instead it is Book #4, I have read and reviewed books 1-3 on Audible already. The Narrator did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. One of the characters the Narrator did sounded quite like Sean Connery and that add alot since he just passed.

1 person found this helpful

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An Exceptional Dragon story!

This is my favorite book so far!
This book put all the pieces together.
It’s how April came into Elizabeth’s life. I hate to give any spoilers!
So warning here’s a spoiler!
April came from a clutch of eggs abandoned by the fairy dragon parents. I believe the great Dragon in the sky has been guiding Elizabeth. It’s like Elizabeth has sent to right a wrong. Without Elizabeth swooping in we never would know the joy which is April!
I highly recommend this book!

1 person found this helpful

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Proper entertainment

While this is book four in the Jane Austen’s Dragons series by Maria Grace, it’s the prequel to the series. In it, we meet twelve-year-old Elizabeth Bennet as she comes into her own as a dragon speaker. (Her mother and sister know nothing about dragons and cannot hear them.) Elizabeth, often while assisting her father with his work, meets and makes friends with dragons large and important and small and insignificant. She discovers that she has a natural propensity for helping dragons. Her father isn’t happy about her interactions, especially when Elizabeth is chosen to friend a Fairy Dragon, but Elizabeth is a willful young woman and continues to pursue her friendships.

This is a delightful book, a wonderful addition to this series. It can be read before, during, or after reading the other three books. I loved how real it made the dragons, and the possibility that such a secret society as the Blue Order might exist.

The writing is wonderful, for Maria Grace never lets her readers down. The narration is exceptional, Benjamin Fife brings the Regency world of human and dragon to life, and creates the best voices for all of the characters. His delivery is near perfection. I felt as if I was there, accompanying Elizabeth through her encounters and discussions.

If you are into Regency, Austen, or dragons, I can highly recommend this audio book.

I received this book from the narrator through Story Origins. I thank them and the author for sharing this book with me, but their generosity had no effect on this review. All opinions in this review reflect my true and honest reactions to reading/listening to this book.

1 person found this helpful

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3.5/5 Proper Dragons and Dragon Society

Narrated by Benjamin Fife
4/5 Stars Performance Notes:
- Very well performed overall.
- I still hate fairies with a passion. In every single book I’ve heard a fairy (or in this case fairy dragon) voiced, I’ve wanted to strangle the creature. It’s always a squeaky and annoying as all heck voice. Some are gonna call it cute. I do not. This is a personal preference, not a reflection of the narrator’s skill. He has pretty good range for both male and female characters.
- There’s a lovely variety of dragons in here, and thankfully, not too much of that annoying little twit of a fairy (April).

3/5 Stars Story Summary:
13-ish-year-old Elizabeth Bennett is the daughter of a Dragon Keeper. (I heard the audio, so I don’t know if it’s capitalized, but it sounds important enough to be capitalized.) She saves a clutch of fairy dragons from freezing to death and meets some cool dragons. That’s about it.

Additional Comments:
- 3/5 Stars World-building: It’s an awesome world. There are a lot of very cool ideas here. Marie Grace jumped hard on the bandwagon of Jane Austen spinoffs and manages to weave in a world of dragons and dragon lore within the early 19th century. I’m not sure if the series was meant to be read out of order, but there’s a LOT of background. Several sections almost read like the author’s notes on the topics. There are okay integrations, but I’d venture to say at least a third of the story is on the borderline of world-building infodumps.
- 2/5 Stars plot: Maybe I spend more time with action-filled books, but it seemed like nothing happened. Entire conversations revolved around fleshing out the world, which is cool to a point but slows things down by a LOT. In a story like this, where because of the Jane Austen style of writing it takes 30 words to say 3, that messes with pacing. (That worked in Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies because you had periods of slowness punctuated by pitched battles. Here, you don’t have pitched battles to help you make up lost ground.)
- I kind of don’t understand the obsession with Jane Austen. I liked Pride and Prejudice well enough, but there are practically cults sprung up over her.
- It took me a while to realize that Elizabeth’s only 13-ish in this book. That might just be because of experiencing the books out of order.
- Content Rating: Clean.
- 3/5 Stars Old Characters: Fairly true to Jane Austen’s molds of the characters – Lizzie is sensible, Jane is beautiful, Mrs. Bennett nags Mr. Bennett, etc.
- 4/5 Stars New Characters: The dragons have unique personalities.
- There’s 0 action in here. I say that because most dragon containing stories have some sort of action. This might as well be a tea party to discuss dragons.

Conclusion:
If you’re absolutely obsessed with Jane Austen, give the series a go. I honestly can’t tell if this is going to tick you off because of the additions to sacred lore, or if you’ll enjoy it immensely because it gives you a chance to experience old friends in a new light. If you’re a dragon fan, you may like this take. Then again, you could be disappointed because the dragons are AWESOME and get to do nothing.

It’s certainly a worthy series to check out on your own and decide.
*I was given a free copy. I have freely chosen to review it. All thoughts are my own.

1 person found this helpful

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Another great installment

This is the third book i have read/listened to by this author and I would happily listen to another. I enjoy her melding of one of my favorite classics with one of my favorite fantasy creatures. She does not merely insert the odd dragon reference, but has rewritten the events around the dragons, yet also managed to keep the essence and direction of Austen’s tale.

This is the fourth book I have listened to by this narrator ( Benjamin Fife ) and I would definitely listen to another. He does the characters voices quite well. He uses English accents to fall in line with the story’s characters. His male and female voices are appropriate and authentic. His diction is clear and allows me to easily speed up my listening.

There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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So much fun

This is one of the most enjoyable books I have read (or listened to) in a while. I find the combination of dragons and the world Jane Austin brought to life to be such an intriguing idea. The author does a fabulous job of creating interactions between humans and dragons. The narrator on this book was exceptional. His voice inflections are unique to each character and do a fabulous job of fitting what I expect the character to be like. I am going to have my daughter listen to this one, I think she will enjoy it too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Vix83
  • 08-10-20

Worth her salt

This book is a delightful prequel to Maria Grace's Jane Austen's Dragons series. I laughed (and cried) along with the lovable characters in this story. Some parts made more sense to me having previously listened to books 1–3, but I think this prequel could be enjoyed either before or after. The narration by Benjamin Fife was excellent, as always.
I was given a free copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Samwiseflangee
  • 04-12-21

Really great twist on pride and prejudice

Love this book, defiantly listen to this one first even though it comes up as book 4 it's actually book one.
I love how the dragon's are woven in this story like they would naturally be in real life. Stunning book, well written and well read

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  • Raya Whitehouse
  • 03-24-21

Great Story

This was another great story from Maria. She really puts details into the story to help you visualize what is going on in the story.

Now while this is book 4 of the series but it can be read first or fourth, whichever you decide will still have this book make sense since it is kind of like a prequel to the first 3 books. It follows Elizabeth through her ups and downs, showing her views on what is going on around her.

The narrator Benjamin as always, does an excellent job on voicing the characters and giving them life. From the dragon voices, to different male and female voices, they are all done well and never wavers.

I got this audio-book for free and am voluntarily writing this review of my honest thoughts.

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  • Gill M
  • 03-20-21

Dragons are everywhere!

Meet the young Elizabeth Bennet and enter her world of Dragons

This is book four of Maria Grace's Jane Austen's Dragons series. Although released fourth, as a flashback to events occurring in the first three books, it would be ideal to read first. It combines a Pride and Prejudice variation, with fantasy about dragons. It will appeal to both JAFF readers and fans of fantasy.

The series starts in Georgian England, where dragons and people live side by side. However, most people are entirely unaware. Only those with preternatural hearing can perceive them.
All others are "dragon deaf". To them, dragons appear as cats, birds or other creatures, their perception influenced by the dragons, to allow them to blend in and hide in plain sight.
The ability to hear dragons, usually manifests at around fifteen, at which point induction into the Blue Order is mandatory. The Blue Order controls the world of Dragons and those who interact with them.

Elizabeth Bennet is very special. She started to hear and talk to dragons from the age of four. When we meet her, she is eleven and being introduced to working with dragons, by her grumpy, traditionalist father, Thomas Bennet. He is the Keeper of Longbourn, the dragon. This means he is somewhat like a steward, to the dragon that owns the Longbourn estate.
Elizabeth is drawn to dragons and they to her. Her easy relationships and instinctive knowledge of how best to interact with dragons, vexes her father. He does not think her behaviour proper or as expected by the Blue Order. He will not admit it, but he is jealous of her skills.

We follow the story from Elizabeth's POV, seeing her delight in her new dragon friends and her unhappiness at some of her father's action and attitudes. Will she be prepared for what is to come?

The story focusses on Elizabeth, Mr Bennet and the many dragons. Although the rest of the Bennets are included, they are rather peripheral. Mr Bennet is very much the traditionist curmudgeon. In Elizabeth, we can see the feisty, fearless woman we know Elizabeth Bennet will become. The dragon characters are well drawn and engaging.

This whole series is narrated by Benjamin Fife. His narration is very good, his voice warm and pleasing to listen to. His female voices are convincing and his dragon voices are excellent.

This is a delightful story. It is well paced and comes to a satisfying conclusion. I would recommend it to all fans of JAFF and fantasy, including younger readers.

I look forward to more stories by Maria Grace.

I received a free copy of this audiobook via StoryOrigin and am voluntarily leaving a review. All views expressed are my own.

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  • Jean Smith
  • 12-23-20

What an introduction!

My one and only complaint with this selection is that I feel it should be listed as a prequel rather than #4 in the series. I totally loved listening to Elizabeth's experiences growing up and learning about her affinity with dragons. This series has totally entranced me. Bravo Ms. Grace.

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  • fred jones
  • 09-04-20

A Joy

I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
This book is a joy, the author captures Jane Austin's style perfectly and the dragons fit into the story seamlessly, as if Jane Austin had written them in the original novel. The characters are wonderful I loved April and Elizabeth. The narrator does a superb job the voice of April fits her perfectly.

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  • Gillian M
  • 08-01-20

Superb, enchanting backstory to P&P dragon trilogy

’A Proper Introduction to Dragons’ is the fourth book in the Jane Austen’s Dragons series. Although it is effectively a prequel to books 1-3, it can be read either before or after. Having said that, you may want to read it first since Maria Grace uses the ‘Pride and Prejudice’ framework loosely in her trilogy and, in creating her world in an alternate dragon universe, certain characters not only take on larger roles but we see more of a ‘personality’ that differs a bit from Jane Austen’s original. Take Mr Bennet as a case in point. His flaws, which are implied in Austen’s book, are magnified and developed by Grace as an integral part of her storyline. All by himself, he is overflowing with pride and prejudice. Elizabeth and Mr Bennett still have a ‘special relationship’, but it is bound up with dragon keeping and there is no real sympathy for or attempt at understanding of his daughter’s feelings so we don’t see any tenderness. The prequel elaborates on this by showing us those early years and explaining some of the things that are hinted at in the trilogy.

In ’A Proper Introduction to Dragons’ we are introduced to Elizabeth Bennet as a precocious eleven-year-old who is fascinated with all-things dragon-related, having been able to hear and converse with dragons from the tender age of four and being in possession of a logical thinking and enquiring mind. Her father sees that as odd rather than normal which just goes to show how stupid a man who is supposed to be intelligent can be with regard to understanding children.

The young Elizabeth is possessed of innate intelligence so that she is easily able to interact with dragons and is eager to learn more about how they interact with each other, how she may follow dragon etiquette and ‘think like a dragon’. Book learning is not at all helpful when the writer has either misunderstood, misrepresented, over-simplified or used poetic licence to embellish and not included a warning to that effect. Mr Bennet attaches more importance to what is written in books than learning from one’s own real-life experience so his prejudices rule his behaviour towards his daughter and she is not even allowed to voice a question over the accuracy (or not) of the content of the books written on dragon lore by ‘warm bloods’ (humans). Where Elizabeth is able to interact with dragons, not only does she learn from them, but they also learn from her and they consider her fascinating, intelligent, extremely refreshing and worthy to be included as a member of the Blue Order.

As with all the other books, the descriptions of the dragons’ characters, their individual quirks and their behaviour towards each other as well as towards the various humans are so delightfully vivid. Maria Grace’s writing is absolutely spell-binding and I highly recommend this prequel and the three books comprising her dragon variation on ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

Moreover, these wonderful books are made even more enjoyable with Benjamin Fife’s superb narration for the Audible books, which is consistent throughout. His extensive vocal repertoire gives each dragon and human their own unique voice. I love them all, but am particularly fond of the voice of April, the fairy dragon.

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  • Sandra W
  • 06-15-20

A charming gem for lovers of this great series!!

An insightful way to see how it all started for Elizabeth - whose tenacious curiosity and instantaneous and intuitive bond with dragons, opens her eyes (and ours) to a world enlivened by all things gloriously dragonic.
The plot centres around her fascinating backstory, her first experiences with talking to dragons and her magnetic abilities to charm and draw them near. I must say being introduced to dragons through her innocent eyes and from the point of view of Elizabeth as a child is enlightening. Her insights are thought-provoking and touchingly raw yet surprisingly perceptive for someone so young.
As a result this book is a wonderful way to learn more about the inner workings of the Blue Order, can be used to shed more light onto a captivating world that so seemlessly and spectacularly binds Austen and dragons so engagingly well together, as well as - and most enjoyably for me - as a means to fill you in on all the details about past events and memories that have been touched upon throughout the previous 3 books but only now provides you with an opportunity to experience first hand.
A fabulous series and great introduction piece, that can be read as either book 1 or book 4 in the series, is well written by Grace and further enhanced and splendidly brought to life by Fife.
I highly recommend this prequel and more to the point this entire series wholeheartenedly - enjoyed every minute of it!!!

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  • Debbie McLean
  • 06-09-20

fantastic

I love these audiobooks they are fantastic, so well written by Maria Grace and narrated by Benjamin Fife. keep them coming xxxxxxx

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  • MommaBear
  • 05-31-20

A lovely different take on Bennet Family history

I was gifted this book and I will be buying every other book in this series as it was so delightful.

It can happily be read by children and adults alike.

A beautiful story that has almost a fairytale vibe to it

Step out of the world we live in where dragons are seen as myths and visit one where they are very much alive and seen by some ( not all).

A magical tale that speaks to the child within all of us.

The narrator Benjamin Fife is actually a perfect choice for telling the tale and brings all including the dragons to life so well.

I loved this book and look forward to listening to the others even though I started on Book 4 I am happy to go back in time but sad I had not come across this series myself and so did listen in the correct order.