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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
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 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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  • Patti
  • 10-07-2019

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-11-2019

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!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Liliel Masters
  • 28-04-2020

Cute Story <br />

The story overall was good, but the narrator spoke so fast as if someone was chasing him!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sherise Mitchell
  • 11-03-2020

A delightful mashup of our beloved P&P and fantasy

I bought this book without even reading the overview, purely due to the title, “Mr Darcy’s Dragon”. I mean...perfection!!! My two most favorite fictional characters/subjects in one book; And it did NOT disappoint! Mrs. Grace kept the to the story arc and timeline of the classic Pride & Prejudice, as well as stay true to the characters we all know so well. At the same time, she broadened the story in a such a clever way, as if throwing open a door hitherto locked. The dragons’ characters and background are developed just as carefully and intertwined with the original story with precision and great skill. It was so easy to accept the retelling because of this. The story line for this book ends when Darcy leaves Netherfield Park, and just before Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth.

The book is read by Benjamin Fife who is wonderfully talented. His voices for the characters are very well done and as described by the author. He has the beautiful English accent and similar handsome tones of Colin Firth so I could happily listen to him all day and night.

Now I am scrambling for the cash to buy the next books in the series for I must know what happens next! I will happily encourage everyone who adores Jane Austin books, particularly Pride & Prejudice as well as fantasy and dragons to read this book. I’m certain it will become a favorite.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Virgil Perryman
  • 16-02-2020

this story could make a listener a dragon fan

I read the second book before this one and love it. This book not only filled in the gaps but added deep context to the characters and color to the period when it took place. Extremely well written and narrated the story embraces you so well in detail and and the descriptive setting that you feel that you are actually witnessing the events.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lelia T
  • 02-02-2020

Dragons!

Reader Alert!! If you’re a Jane Austen purist, meaning you can’t bear to have someone mess with your favorite characters, having them do things Jane Austen didn’t intend, you need to walk away. Now, you’d think a purist would never dream of reading this book since it has a dragon right there on the cover but I’ve actually seen a few reviews by people who complained mightily about this retelling, particularly the dragons, even though they had to know what was coming. Why read them if you can’t stand the idea? Sheesh.

Normally, I’d save my comments regarding the narration till the end of my review but I have to bring it up now. Mr. Fife is purely amazing with the widest range of vocalizations I’ve heard in a long time and he truly breathes life into a story that’s already wonderful. His dragons are especially well done; when I first heard his interpretation of the tiny April, I was so taken with it—and her—that I had to pull off the side of the road and listen again without the distraction of driving. That wasn’t an anomaly as I soon discovered when other dragons spoke, each in a very distinctive voice. Even if I didn’t love this story, I would still have to listen to Mr. Fife’s rendition.

Ms. Grace’s worldbuilding is brilliant with much attention to detail. This is a sort of alternate universe but still with the trappings of Regency England, just with dragons, and we have the bones of Pride and Prejudice if not the exact story. For hundreds of years, dragons and humans have co-existed peaceably and each estate has its own landed dragon, named for the estate. In addition to the landed dragons, Ms. Grace has created a myriad of others of all types and sizes and they kept my attention psyched up.

Darcy and Lizzy are, of course, the main players on the human side and they sort of tiptoe around each other at first, much like in the original story. They have a mutual interest that takes precedence over any awkwardness and that’s the retrieval of the stolen dragon egg, legacy of the firedrake named Pemberley. If that egg hatches without a human present, the baby won’t imprint and the long-lasting treaty will be broken.

I can’t come up with sufficient praise for Pemberley other than to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and it’s the first book I’ll be putting on my list of best books read in 2020. Now, on to the second book, Longbourn 🐉

1 person found this helpful

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  • Willow Star Serenity
  • 25-01-2020

I Needed This!!!

The beloved Pride And Prejudice is retold in a very unique way. Some of our beloved classical characters can hear dragons. They can also communicate with dragons. Every estate has a dragon keeper. Mr. Darcy is in major trouble. Somebody has stolen a dragon egg from his estate. He must find the egg before it hatches.

I am so happy I stumbled upon this book! I love Pride and Prejudice. I read the book at least five times. To the best of my knowledge. I love retellings. I still have many to read, but the ones I have read are great. Especially ones from classical books. I was impressed with the fact that direct quotes from the original book are put in this book. It adds to the story in my opinion.

I obviously love all the characters from Pride and Prejudice. I loved that the dragons in this book had such amazing personalities! It was quite impressive. I'm a sucker for sarcastic characters and animals that are given personalities in books! I have always related to Mary out of the five daughters. I feel like she didn't have enough of a role in the book. That's just my opinion.

This book was narrated by Benjamin Fife. He did a pretty impressive job. I was NOT prepared for the very high pitched voices that he gave the dragons. Well, the fairy dragons. I was impressed. I don't think I could have pitched that if I tried! I'm almost certain that I haven't listened to any books he's narrated before. I'm willing to listen to more.

I'm so glad that I found this book! It's definitely a book that I can classify as I didn't know I needed until I found it. I noticed that this book is the first book in a series! I am here for this! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I definitely fell in love with this book!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Frank Geimer
  • 23-01-2020

Romance with a Dragon Twist.

After listening to the novel, I found that I liked it and I am definitely not into romance novels. The idea of throwing Dragons into the midst, well that got my attention and so I am reading romance with dragons. I enjoyed listening to this story, the narrator kept it lively and set the tone very well. If you enjoy romance and dragons, then this is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Peachesnbeal
  • 21-01-2020

cute read

I recieved this for free for an honest review

This story was interesting enough. The audio was done well, but I do not see myself finishing the series. It was well written.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kevin Potter
  • 11-01-2020

Surprisingly impressive!

Dragons meet Jane Austen in a surprisingly entertaining story that is one part fantasy, one party mystery, and one part romance.

This is my first exposure to Benjamin Fife and I have to say, wow!

Although at times his voices sound just a touch nasal, each and every voice in the book is unique. Even the female and Dragon voices are all different and fit their subjects perfectly. He is a master of both vocal inflections and tempo shifts.

Honestly, I almost passed on this book. I saw it multiple times in various places before I finally decided to take a chance and devote some time to it.

Not only am I not a fan of Jane Austen's writing style (which this book naturally models to a certain extent), but I'm also not typically fond of Regency period fiction.

That said, however, this book has a similar charm (though very different storyline, of course) to the Lady Trent books by Marie Brennan, which I absolutely adore.

Although there are quite a few characters to keep track of, including nearly a dozen dragons, each is surprisingly well developed. Once things got going there was no confusion about who was who.

Clearly, most if not all of these characters are based on the originals created by Jane Austen, with flaws and quirks translated into a new world quite well.

Speaking of the world, the world building is fantastic. Although I'm not personally fond of the direction the author went with the dragons, it's all very well developed. I can definitely see the Pern influence there. The author has clearly thought through the societal ramifications of having dragons exist in the time period.

There are several mysteries throughout, most of which are resolved though one is open ended. Overall, the reveals of the various mysteries are well timed and satisfying.

The only critique I have that's not tied to either the period or Jane Austen is about that final mystery (main plot). It just felt a little too convenient and didn't really require anything of either protagonist to solve it.

Following that final reveal, however, the ending comes together nicely with an excellent weaving of character and plot arcs with more than one rather emotional character moment.

Definitely looking forward to reading book 2!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Susannah
  • 14-07-2019

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 people found this helpful

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  • Gillian M
  • 07-07-2020

Excellent Pride & Prejudice with dragons combo

Pride & Prejudice is my favourite Jane Austen book and I love anything to do with dragons so I was curious to see how Maria Grace’s P&P variation would turn out. ‘Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon (Jane Austen’s Dragons Book 1)’ is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Austen’s P&P characters are there and the original construct has been used as a loose framework that Maria Grace has then interwoven with a rich tapestry of dragons and dragon lore in an alternative universe and added a quest, a mystery, action, intrigue, humour.

Elizabeth and Darcy’s characters develop a greater depth. Mr Bennet and Mary’s characters are expanded as they play much bigger roles. In fact Mr Bennet’s flaws, which are implied in Austen’s book, are magnified and developed by Grace as an integral part of her storyline. 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.

I love the variety of dragons and their various personalities. It is fascinating how they interact with different humans depending on whether the humans can hear/understand and converse with dragons or aren’t able to hear/understand dragons but are susceptible to dragon suggestion ‘spells’. Anyone who is ‘dragon deaf’ and is to inherit an estate where a dragon has its keep presents a big problem.

The Audible book adds that extra dimension and really brings this story to life. Benjamin Fife does a superb job with the narration producing an extensive repertoire of different voices for the human and dragon characters. I really enjoyed listening to this first instalment of a three-part story and am looking forward to the second book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • nerak
  • 11-06-2020

Brilliant, Absorbing and Fascinating

I was provided with a free copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review.

What a wonderful adaptation of the original Pride and Prejudice novel. This was a delight and joy to listen to. I have always loved fantasy novels and dragons are a big part of that love, so combining the wit and social commentary of Jane Austen with the temperamental agitation of having dragons in your life was a fantastic adventure for me.

Maria has managed to combine the two elements into a beautiful retelling of Elizabeth and Darcy, using their original characters to develop through the advent of being dragon keepers. Keeping the ideals of Austen clear in the story while incorporating a whole new world of dragons and dragon lore is not an easy thing to do, and I greatly admire the author for attempting this.

I have given five stars for everything because I cannot fault the writing, the performance or the adaptation. I am sure that some people will comment that Austen's work should not be meddled with, but I do not care. The results of this meddling are too delightful for me to fault in any way.

Benjamin Fife does a lovely job of giving each dragon its own voice, from squeaking and high pitched to full-throated roaring. He also develops a tone for both Elizabeth and Darcy that match their characters.

I will point out for those of you expecting it to complete the same way as Pride and Prejudice, it is the first of a series so do not expect Elizabeth and Darcy's story to come to its end in this installment.

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  • Sandra W
  • 28-05-2020

Astoundingly clever & well thoughtout reimagining!

Who would of thought dragons and mythology would infuse so seemlessly into a timeless classic, one as renowned as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and simply work to such an ingeniously fascinating degree.
The charm and essence of Pride and Prejudice remains at the plot's core, with Grace sticking to it's key milestones as a framework, but the intrigue and depth added by the inclusion of dragons and the exclusively secret society and lore that bides them, has been seemlessly interwoven throughout to great effect and much satisfaction. Crafting a uniquely refreshing take with a new insight and dimension to the original. Subtle wit and recognisable Austen quotes suck you into the world, add familiarity and comfort, while undeniably putting a smile on your face. Yet this variation makes you think more deeply about the original characters, as you begin to see them in a new light and through fresh eyes, but in the most part, they still retain their distinctive integrity and quintessence of character Austen gave them.
Elizabeth's kindness and intuitive connection to dragons and Darcy's obviously, gradually crumbling, arrogance makes for absorbing reading as his readily dismissive tendencies towards Elizabeth and in particular her beguillingly outspoken interferences begin to distort and shape his first impressions due to regular, if unwanted, further acquaintance, as they begrudging cross verbal swords, while attempting to solve the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Pemberley, Darcy's missing dragon(egg). As Darcy finds himself increasingly in awe of Elizabeth, mainly because of her instinctual skill with dragons and her quiet intelligence; Elizabeth's misinterpretations of Darcy's nature, in contrast, begin to cloud her judgement but nevertheless draw her notice regardless, creating (that much loved) delightful tension between the pair!!
Overall, a wonderful variation that really captivates and paints a clear picture about a truly intriguing world. One that is only embellished by it's wonderful narration.

[Especially in the characterisation of the dragons as each one is amazingly different and uniquely distinctive. I admit it took me a little while to become atuned to Fife's voice, but it's warmth soon shone through and settled into a soothing timbre that really enlivened and enriched the story. Projecting life into the tale - effectively sinking its talons into me and sucking me into Grace's world, from the very first dragon Fife gave voice to and continued to hold my attention until his last word]

In addition, I don't even mind the surprise that Mr Bennet isn't portrayed as the lovable, supportive, father we all know and love as he is a bit hard to find favour with in this version or that the open and close relationship between Elizabeth and Jane isn't really depicted as I just loved the fact Mary got a voice beyond the overlooked and ridiculed, serious, sister.
A really captivating book that I'm glad I got to experience in audio. It was so easy to become lost in and wholeheartedly invested in, Grace's Austen/dragon infused world. Written by an author I have never had the pleasure of coming across before but have grown to love her style of writing, vivid descriptions and compelling creativity. Desperately eager to hear the next installment in book 2; highly recommended book especially in this format!!!

*Please note, this book does end on a cliffhanger but satisfactorily solves the intertwined mystery first!*

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  • JuttaS
  • 26-05-2020

Thoroughly enjoyable and a brilliant idea

I loved this so much I'm not quite sure how to express it. I totally love the idea, the way it weaves through the original story with such a different spin on it! It is so enjoyable. Familiar characters with a different take. The story itself is great, and I felt myself sucked in to it so easily. I wasn't sure about Benjamin Fife to start with but as I settled into the story I appreciated his narration more and more. Now I need to know what happens next!

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  • Vix83
  • 22-05-2020

Mr Darcy and dragons

Review of audible version of this book. I love to read any Pride and Prejudice variation, so I thought I'd give this one a listen. This is an interesting twist on the Pride and Prejudice story. Dragons have been cleverly interwoven into the plot. Book one loosely follows the original story, but it only contains the first part of the Pride and Prejudice story. Because of this, the books need to be read in order. The narration was good, but the speech was a bit fast at times (when the characters got overly excited or angry). I listened to this book at a slightly slower speed because I have moderate hearing loss, and this enabled me to catch words that I might otherwise have missed. There were parts in this book that made me chuckle. These usually involved one or more of the dragons. I was disappointed in the portrayal of Mr Bennet, though. In this first part of the story he is not supportive of Elizabeth's choices. There is also more focus on Elizabeth's relationship with her sister Mary rather than with Jane. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would like to read/listen to books two and three in this series.

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  • Ulrika
  • 11-05-2020

Dragons - check, Austen-ish check!

What's not to like about this book? It's probably the most imaginative Austen variation I've read or listened to, it's quite irreverent towards Miss Austen's origianal, but in a very loving and tounge-in-cheek way. These are young ladies who have more important things in mind than marriage, but of course they still fall in love, as it should be in an Austenish world. The writing is delightful and keeps keeps you entertained all through the book.

The narration is wonderful! I especially liked the dragon's voices, but the narrator managed to give all the characters unique and fitting voices. It was easy for me, as a non-native English speaker to follow the narration.

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  • Dee Watcher
  • 28-04-2020

Fun, Light Listen

I enjoyed listening to this. It was just what I needed, a light-hearted retelling of the first part of P & P.

The story is woven round the original work very well.

The narrator is a touch too American for my taste. I'm English and I expect an British narrator for a story about English people in England. It's not too bad, I managed to ignore it mostly once I got used to it. Just sometimes there would be an odd word where the pronunciation would throw me out of the story.

I have bought the next book in the series, Its a great story to listen to while knitting. :)

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  • miss
  • 09-03-2020

ok if you like the period drama

Slow start and to be honest I was easily distracted from this book, however I persisted and actually quite liked it as I got more into it.

The narrator was good although at a couple of points the editing was really off and there were gaps and background studio noise,.

If you like classic stories from the Bronte sisters you'll probably like this

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  • Lucia
  • 15-02-2020

Enjoyed it!

*I was given a free copy of this book in audiobook version at my request in exchange for an honest review*
I know what are you thinking, Jane Austen and dragons??
But that was the exact reason why Requested the book...
What would happen if the main characters of Pride & Prejudice were members of some sort of secret society who takes care of dragons?
The similarities with the original novel are few and far between, and at certain point I didn't know if I was going to like it. But the story develops little by little and you grow fond of this characters, especially the dragons, and yes you want to know what happens next.
No cliffhanger which is always a bonus!