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Pemberley: Mr. Darcy's Dragon: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

Jane Austen's Dragons, Book 1
Narrated by: Benjamin Fife
Series: Jane Austen's Dragons, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

England is overrun by dragons of all shapes and sizes. Most people are blissfully unaware of them and the Pendragon Treaty that keeps the peace between human and dragon kind. Only those born with preternatural hearing, like Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are able to hear and converse with dragonkind.  

When the first firedrake egg laid in a century is stolen from Pemberley, the fragile dragon peace teeters on collapse. Darcy has no choice but to chase down the thief, a journey that leads him to quaint market town of Meryton and fellow Dragon Keeper, Elizabeth Bennet.    

Elizabeth shares a unique bond with dragons, stronger than anything Darcy has ever experienced. More than that, her vast experience and knowledge of dragon lore may be the key to uncovering the lost egg. But Elizabeth can’t stand Darcy’s arrogance and doesn’t trust him to care properly for a precious baby firedrake. After all, he already lost the egg once. What’s to prevent it from happening again?  

Can he win her trust and recover the stolen egg before it hatches and sends England spiraling back into the Dark Ages of Dragon War?  

Jane Austen meets Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. A must-listen for Pern fans.

©2016 Maria Grace (P)2019 Maria Grace

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great Dragon inspired Pride and Prejudice story!

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I love and admire this entire series. It has completely occupied all my spare time since I saw this first book in the series, here at Audible. The personalities and foibles of all the characters Dragon and Human are what makes this so entrancing. Their entire society is well thought out and expressed. I enjoyed it too much to wait for the rest of the series to be released in audio format. But per the author they are going to released soon.
The narration was very good. I did find The voice of April the Fairy Dragon to be quite irritating . Even though that’s exactly how she was described, I wish Mr. Fife hadn’t been so exacting in his portrayal.
There is a prequel, A Proper Introduction to Dragons, in Kindle Unlimited, it could be read at any time. I read it first and I’m glad I did. It gave so many insights into the Dragon Accords, The Order and the different dragons that it enhanced my enjoyment and understanding in this book and the rest of the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love the added dragons!

Jane Austen's Dragons series spreads the actions of Pride and Prejudice over 3 volumes, with Mr. Darcy’s Dragon leaving off just after the Netherfield Ball. Apart from the original plot there’s the added plot Mr. Darcy’s dragon egg having been stolen and needing to be recovered before it hatches. There is a secret order of dragon friends in England, watching over the Pendragon Treaty which has kept the peace between humans and dragons, and it would be very bad for this peace if a dragon were to hatch in the wild. This plotline adds a lot of mystery and danger, with lots of places in need of searching all people in need of being suspected of having stolen the dragon.

I always wanted to read Pride and Prejudice, because I loved watching the various adaptations with my mum, but every time I picked it up I ended up putting it down. I used to attribute this to my limited attention span and the book’s lack of pictures of Colin Firth, but now I suspect the lack of dragons might also have had something to do with it.

It had been a while since I’d last watched, so for a refresher, I ended up listening to Mr. Darcy’s Dragon and watching the 1995 adaptation. I think this was a good way for me to do it, because I got the feeling that the books expects you to be familiar with the original, and it was a joy seeing how the dragons were added to the story. It was great seeing where the story stuck to the source and where it deviated. For instance, I really liked how the dragon’s manipulations offer a very reasonable explanation for certain actions. It was a bit strange for me how a lot of original dialogue was left in, but I enjoyed the way it was occasionally twisted.

The main characters are the ones we know and love, with the addition of sections in Mr. Darcy’s point of view, and a much more important presence of Lizzy’s aunt and uncle who are both great. Since they’re all generally known I won’t talk about them too much, but there are dragon related shades added to all of them, for instance Mrs. Benett’s foolishness is played perfectly when it comes to her reaction to the dragons.

So let me get to the Dragons! There are different species of dragons, from small enough to be confused with a bird by the untrained eye to well, regular dragon size. They’re all sentient and very proud, often moody, good thing that Lizzy knows exactly how to deal with each of them. Lizzy, Darcy and Lizzy’s uncle each have a companion dragon. I really liked how different their personalities are and especially how they take some things after their companions and other traits are completely independent. There are also a kind of dragons very much like cats, and I’m here for the cat/dragon combo. The big dragons don’t feature that actively in book one, but I get the feeling we’ll see much more of them coming up.

I got a copy of this at my request and these are my freely given thoughts

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this story! Glad it is on Audible now. :)

Maria Grace's Dragons series is one that I checked and re-checked Audible for-- waiting and hoping that it would eventually be available in this format. I have read the Kindle edition (of all four books in the series) several times, but it is such a fun universe that I really wanted an audio version so that I could listen to it while working on other things. The dragon-universe Ms. Grace has created here is fantastic. Dragons are everywhere-- all kinds. But the dragon-deaf are blissfully unaware of them. The dragon-keepers must take care of both the dragons and the naive assumptions of those who cannot hear them.

I was at first a bit nervous about a male narrator, since I tend to think of Pride & Prejudice variations as "Lizzy's story." Ben Fife did an admirable job, however. This is not just Lizzy's story. This is dragon story. Ben Fife brings a repertoire full of dragons. I was particularly impressed by the wide range of dragon voices which he created and used to good effect for the very different types of dragons in this story. From the hummingbird-sized fairy-dragon through the cat-like tatzelwurm, on to the falcon-esque cockatrice, and so on up to to the large and threatening estate-dragons, the dragons are critical characters in this story, and they insist on taking part in the dialogue. Ms. Grace's novel describes very different voices/characteristics for each dragon-type, and Mr. Fife has done an admirable job of performing each of these non-human characters in distinctive voices that support their descriptions-- all while keeping the dialogue easily understandable. (Upon listening to the Audible version, I quickly realized that I had not remotely considered just how difficult it must be to do justice to this kind of story in an audio recording, and the further I listened, the more impressed I became.)

To nit-pick: there are a few words for which Jane Austen aficionados will object to Mr. Fife's pronunciation: Longbourn, Derbyshire, Hertfordshire, etc. But he's got the dragons right, and I think that is far more important for a book like this, so I've rounded 4.5 stars up to 5 overall.

Fair warning: this book is the first in a three book series, and while the end of this book does resolve the conflict and danger inherent in the stolen dragon egg, there are also some issues unresolved-- you may find yourself compelled to read the Kindle editions of the next two books if they have not yet been recorded for Audible. (A fourth book also exists (and is absolutely delightful) but it is a prequel, so the plot threads at the end of Pemberley: Mr. Darcy's Dragon don't depend upon it.)

I hope to soon see Maria Grace's other dragon books in Audible!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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melding of a classic with fantasy

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by this author and I would listen to another.
I love the story this is based on. This was an interesting melding of the Jane Austin’s Pride and Predjudice and dragon’s. Some of the original passages are used, but for the most part Maria Grace uses the events, people and interactions from the original story, but tweaks it to suit the dragon storyline. Quite creative.

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Benjamin Fife ) and I would listen to another. I like how the dragon voices were done. He gives all the characters individual voices and does the female voices well. His style is more like reading than performing but still a great listen.

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

Oh, what a charming, delightful story! There's been many variations on Pride and Prejudice over the years; not sure of the Bennett sisters as vampire hunters (but then, not sure about Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter either). But I liked this book.

This is an alternate England where dragons still exist, but only certain people can hear them. Therefore, those that can't hear them don't believe in their existence. Each major estate seems to have an estate dragon, which is named after the estate (or the estate named after the dragon, take your pick.) Dragons come in many shapes and sizes, with estate dragons seeming to be the major dragons. There are fairy dragons - the size of hummingbirds, dragons that are the size and looks of cats, etc.  Dragons can speak to people and influence even those who can not hear them. They also have the ability to appear different then what they actually are - a dragon posing as a cat, or a falcon, or a hummingbird .... 

Mr. Darcy has lost his dragon egg, needed to replace the old estate dragon. Some one has stolen the egg.  It's up to him and Elizabeth Bennett to recover the egg before it hatches and causes havoc as an unbound fire dragon. 

The novel has as it's background the original Sisters Bennett tale. The Bennett sisters need to get married; Jane falls for Mr. Bingley, Mr. Collins is trying to marry Elizabeth, and the two youngest sisters are mad for the militia. There are balls, class attitude, everything you expect with the book. Plus dragons.

Ben Fife is a great narrator for this work; he does well with the various voices including the dragon voices. Very nice, easy listen. So many times I think I've been listening to a book for hours, when it turns out to only be one hour, but this one four hours + went by very quickly before I realized it, and I looked forward to getting back to it afterwards.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enchanting

What a fun story! I love Jane Austin and this fan fiction of Pride and Prejudice uses so much of her original story to tell a delightful and very different story. The narrator is very clever, while the original characters sound like they are straight from the BBC the dragons voices are enchanting and believable. I loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pride and Prejudice and Dragons

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

I am an avid fan of Jane Austen. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That was a wonderful novel with zombies stitched onto the story like some strange creation from Doctor Frankenstein. This felt much more organic.

We all know and love the characters that Miss Austen created and many can probably recite some of the wittier one liners by heart. What you know and love has been preserved though expanded upon as this book only takes us shortly after the arrival of Mr. Collins.

Maria Grace develops her own unique properties and personalities of dragons including their treaty with mankind. The dragons are all capable of sentience and speech. Some of the dragons are adorable, some witty, some fearsome and intimidating. They add color but also form connections to and effect the plot of the original novel in inventive ways. There is a plot about a highly coveted missing dragon egg that carries the narrative weight of the first novel. It is a wonder to watch it unfold and entertaining enough to merit the trilogy adapted from one of the most beloved novels of all time.

Benjamin Fife narrates the audiobook and puts in a stellar performance. He not only balances accents and character voices but brings life to multiple species of dragon. It is a treat to listen to. At times I forgot it was a single narrator.
I look forward to future volumes in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good Start

I got this story via audiobook boom and this is my voluntary review. I loved this variation of P and P. There was enough of the story for those who know it well to follow along. For those who don't this was a good story all on its own. Mr. Darcy is a dragon keeper and Elizabeth and her father are as well. Mama can't hear the dragons so she thinks they are birds. Love the way the plot wove the dragons ( all species of them) into the story. The Hawk made my day. He was my favorite dragon. Overall a good story with great narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Charming!

Such a wonderful story. I just love Pemberley and I want one too.
Great for all ages.
The narrator has an excellent range of voices and does them perfectly.
Hoping this continues too see all reunited.
This audio was given to me free and I voluntarily gave this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

THE PEMBERLEY OF DRAGONS,

THIS AUDIBLE
WAS AMAZING, MOST YOUNG WOMEN HAVE COME TO KNOW AND LOVE THE CHARACTER ME DARCY AND ELIZABETH BENNET, THE DRAGONS ARE DEFINETLY A BONUS! THE NARRATOR BENJAMIN FIFE DID A WONDERFUL JOB WITH THE FLEXUATION OF THE DIFFERENT CHARCTERS, AND THEN THERE ARE THE DRAGONS, THIS STORY WAS REALLY A TREAT, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO MORE FROM BOTH THIS AUTHOR AND THE NARRATOR! I AM LEAVING THIS REVIEW OF MY OWN FREE WILL, AND THE OPIONS ARE MY OWN.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Susannah
  • 07-14-19

A Riveting listen.

Who knew that dragons could slot so easily into the world of Jane Austen? This fantasy adventure is action packed from beginning to end while still following much of the storyline from Pride and Prejudice.

The narration was fabulous and the range of character voices worked really well and were consistent. The narration was well paced and kept you engrossed in the story.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Pride and Prejudice variations and the fantasy genre. Can't wait to listen to the next installments!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kharnynb
  • 11-12-19

good listen, both well narrated and interesting

great take on fantasy with a good plot, only slightly let down by an unsatisfying ending that i the writer intends to solve in future books.
the setting and ideas are well thought through and feel real enough for the story to not be too farfetched.

the narrator keeps a perfect pace throughout with no unnecessary pauses and great voices to separate characters without it being too overplayed except some kid voices at the very start of the book.

overall a great listen which leaves me looking forward to the next installment.