Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart. 

3/5 Stars

Heartstone is a fun fantasy re-imagining of Pride and Prejudice. I didn’t find it brilliant. It’s no Pride and Prejudice and Zombie after all, but what is really? Still it’s worth a read for those who like both Jane Austen and fantasy.

Here we find Aliza Bentaine (Elizabeth Bennet) fighting for her life in a world filled with monsters both good and bad all the while matching wits with the infuriating, and ultimately swoon worthy,  Alastair Daired (Mr. Darcy). Many times the book was a pretty straightforward reiteration of the original, despite being filled with mythological creatures. There was still enough original ideas to keep things interesting and I never found myself bored with the story.    

I liked that Aliza is not a warrior, though she will stab a monster in the eye if it’s a matter of life and death. So many retellings turn the heroin into some kind of weapon wielding fighter and while I do enjoy stories like that it’s nice for a change.

Not all of us are ready to throw ourselves into life or death battle afterall. You can still be a strong female and not proficient with a sword or bow.  

The book makes mention that instead of fighting Aliza wants to be a healer. The character already knows a lot about herblore at the start of the book. I found it strange however that she has no other medical knowledge. At one point in the story a character needs stitches and Aliza not only doesn’t know how to stitch a wound but almost passes out at the sight. She doesn’t even attempt to learn even though she has the perfect chance. That does not sound like a person pursuing a passion for healing.   

But then Mr. Darcy, or should I say Mr. Daired, rides a dragon and kills things. That’s always fun! So yay Pride and Prejudice filled with monsters and fighting.

Book Review: Heartstone by Elle Katherine White

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