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Darcy thought his problems were over when Pemberley hatched and successfully imprinted on humans. But baby dragons prove far more difficult than any dragon lore prepared him for. Only Elizabeth Bennet's notes offer him any help. When his imperious Aunt Catherine takes matters into her own hands, things take a turn for the worse and Pemberley’s life hangs in the balance. He desperately needs more of Elizabeth’s help, but she ignores all of his requests.
Elizabeth, though, has problems of her own. After the Bennet family dragon sent Pemberley away, life at Longbourn was supposed to return to normal and Elizabeth get on with the all-important business of marrying the heir to her father’s estate. Except that he is the last man in the world whom she could ever be prevailed on to marry—a bumbling, addle-pated dragon-hater who demands she gives up the dragons she lives for.
Can she, with the help of her dragon friends, find her way back to Pemberley before they both suffer their fate from the Dragon Entail?
Please note that the following review is for the second book in Maria Grace’s Jane Austen’s Dragons series, therefore it may contain spoilers for readers who haven’t read the first book in this series, Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon.
Last year when Maria Grace published Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon, I was curious to see how this series would unfold, but I wasn’t sure I could truly connect with this concept. After all, dragons living alongside the characters from Pride & Prejudice seemed like a strange combination and I’m not typically a fan of fantasy books, but since my curiosity was piqued and it was written by Maria Grace, I gave it a try. If you’ve read my book review for Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon, then you know that I actually fell in love with this series, which was quite a surprise to me! When the second book in the series was released, Longbourn: Dragon Entail, I gladly purchased a copy, anticipating another great read from Maria Grace.
What I didn’t expect was to love this second book in the series even more than the first book. In Longbourn: Dragon Entail, Maria Grace just hit it out of the park again and I’ll tell you why… The story moves at a near-lightening-fast pace and all in a very pleasurable way. Maria’s story strikes a terrific balance of action-packed scenes, wonderful character development, carefully inserted jabs of humor, and some lovely emotive moments that make a story filled with dragons, fairies, and humans feel like a very kindred environment.
As the story opens up, Elizabeth has her hands filled with a variety of concerns. As she struggles to handle the competing desires between her, Longbourn, Mr. Bennet, and the blubbering Mr. Collins, she finds herself in unfamiliar territory. How can she follow the demands of Mr. Bennet and Longbourn, while still maintaining her sanity as the wife of Mr. Collins? Eventually, she decides to take matters into her own hands, but will her actions only lead everyone to disaster?
Meanwhile, Darcy is in Kent, where he is also dealing with warring relations and one very ill baby dragon. As the pressure mounts for him to enter a union with his cousin Anne, who desires the match nearly as much as her mother, he also has to figure out how to make sure that baby Pemberley receives the level of care that was provided by a certain dragon keeper in Meryton. Will Darcy be able to keep Pemberley within the same environs as Rosings, and if not, how will he safely leave his aunt’s “care.”
I loved that there were so many twists and turns taking place throughout the story, with every chapter bringing new answers to various questions, along with new secrets to ponder, and a couple of laughs as well. I don’t always enjoy stories that have Darcy and Elizabeth spending significant time apart from one another, but this book handled their separation in very entertaining ways. I also really came to love even more of the mythical creatures that Maria Grace created for this story that make this book such a joy to read! The pairings of each mythical creature with Austen’s characters adds humor to the story and further insights into their characters throughout this story as well.
Maybe you’re reading my review, and you’re still shaking your head and thinking that you enjoy stories closer to canon than one set in some fantasy world of dragons and dragon keepers. However, I wouldn’t rule this series out at all and I encourage all JAFF lovers to give this series a try because while the world is fantasy, the main characters remain very close to canon and really shine in new ways through their experiences in Marie’s story.
Maria Grace has also done a great job with all of the details that she included in this fantasy world, including the hierarchy of the characters, and their accompanying laws and customs that are essential to living in this dragon-filled world in Regency England. I also love that each volume resembles canon closely enough to feel true to the shape and design of Austen’s original story, and yet is so creatively composed through Maria Grace’s talents, that a whole new story is here to be savored for JAFF readers!
Meet Maria Grace
Though Maria Grace has been writing fiction since she was ten years old, those early efforts happily reside in a file drawer and are unlikely to see the light of day again, for which many are grateful. After penning five file-drawer novels in high school, she took a break from writing to pursue college and earn her doctorate in Educational Psychology. After 16 years of university teaching, she returned to her first love, fiction writing.
She has one husband, two graduate degrees and two black belts, three sons, four undergraduate majors, five nieces, six new novels in the works, attended seven period balls, sewn eight Regency era costumes, shared her life with nine cats through the years and published her 10th book last year.
Maria Grace can be contacted at: author.MariaGrace@gmail.com
Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16 year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences.
She blogs at Random Bits of Fascination (www.RandomBitsofFascination.com) , mainly about her fascination with Regency-era history and its role in her fiction. Her newest novel, The Trouble to Check Her, was released in March 2016. Both Science Fiction and Fantasy projects are currently in the works. Her books, fiction, and nonfiction, are available at all major online booksellers.
You can follow Maria Grace on Twitter (https://twitter.com/WriteMariaGrace , @writeMariaGrace) and like (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maria-Grace/142931065811118?ref=hl) or friend her (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMariaGrace) on Facebook.
It’s Giveaway Time!
I am offering a giveaway of one of the books in this series for my Just Jane 1813 readers. To enter your chance to win an eBook of either Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon, or the second book in this series, Longbourn: Dragon Entail, please leave a comment on this blog by midnight, ET on May 14th. The winner will be announced on May 15, 2017. You can also read an excerpt from “Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon,” to give you a taste of this wonderful series.
Thank you, Maria Grace, for writing such a clever fantasy series for JAFF readers!
You can check out the book on Amazon and other major booksellers.
You can find Elizabeth’s Commonplace book of Dragons posting on Maria’s website too!