Dancer’s Review of Heartstone by Elle Katharine White
I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to RockStar Book Tours for letting me participate in this amazing blog tour, and to the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. If you would like to see all of the blogs participating in this tour, please click on the banner above. =^.^=
Take everything you love in Pride & Prejudice and now add some dragons, high fantasy, suspense, sword fighting, and more, and you’ve got the wonderful and amazing book that is Heartstone! Of the many Pride & Prejudice adaptations I have read, this is one of my favorites. I can only hope that White takes on other Austen stories, or tries her hand at writing more high fantasy novels because I definitely plan on reading more of her books!
White does a spectacular job of building and expanding the world and story that we know and love from Austen’s classic novel. Aliza, Elizabeth Bennet, is fiercely intelligent, devoted to her family and her home, and is not one to back down once challenged. She may be considered a regular human by Riders’ standards, but she’s got the potential to be equal to them when everything is said and done. Daired, Darcy, appears overbearing and a snob at first, but eventually his true character is revealed and, like the original Mr. Darcy, it is hard to not fall in love with him as the story progresses. The attraction between these two characters is palpable, it’s very much a dance been love and disdain, and White was able to capture the passion between them perfectly.
One thing that I always look for when reading an Austen adaptation is a blending of the original tale with the inclusion of the author’s own interpretation of the story while conveying it in a unique way. I don’t want an exact retelling with just a few minor tweaks here or there. I want something new, yet familiar at the same time, if that makes any sense. With Heartstone you get the key scenes from the original classic, those moments that fans enjoy, but the path to them, the story surrounding them, and their depiction are entirely unique to White’s story. The dance scene between Darcy and Elizabeth that marks one of the major turning points for their characters’ relationship appears in this novel, but it is more fraught with uncertainty as to whether Aliza and Daired will truly end up together or not. Likewise the scene where Darcy confesses to Elizabeth his feelings, and we all know which scene I’m referring to, appears in this book, and it is even more of a swoon worthy yet cringing of a scene than in the original. You can’t help but love Daired yet want to shake sense into him at the same time during these moments.
And that is another thing which I loved while reading. Just like with the original classic story, I was emotionally drawn into this book and its characters. I laughed, I sighed, I cringed and shook my head in dismay, and I cheered when the characters whom I quickly grew to love overcame the challenges they had to face. And yes, I even cried at the end for the sacrifice of one character. As much as I did not like Charis through a good portion of the story, my respect for her increased greatly toward the final few chapters. What a way to redeem oneself!
While I’ve focused on the ways in which this book handles the adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, this is so much more than a retelling of Austen’s classic novel. This is a beautiful high fantasy story, which feels a little like McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders series and Williams’s Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series. White has created a world with a rich history that I would love to see more of, both within regards to the land itself and the creatures that inhabit it to the magic that we only see glimpses of. There are so many avenues that White can explore in future books if she so desires, and that to me is the sign of a strong world builder.
This book has everything that a lover of fantasy could ask for, and any fan of retellings for that matter. From the first page it will pull you in and it can easily be read in one sitting if the reader is so inclined. I enjoyed this book immensely and my only regret was that I finished it because I honestly didn’t want the story to end. I always say that the best books are those that pull you in and take you away from reality, and this is without a doubt one of those books. I can’t wait to see what White plans to come up with next!
About the Author:
Elle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, where she learned valuable life skills like how to clear a snowy driveway in under twenty minutes (a lot easier than you think) and how to cheer for the perennial underdog (a lot harder than you think).
When she’s not writing she spends her time reading, drinking absurd amounts of tea, having strong feelings about fictional characters, and doing her best to live with no regrets.
Connect with her on Facebook at @ellewhite.author, or witness the hilarious spectacle that is a writer contending with the 140-character limit on Twitter at @elle_k_writes.
If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 finished copies of HEARTSTONE, US Only, please click on the Rafflecopter link below: