I was so excited to find out that we were on the tour for this book!! From the minute I read the summary, I knew I had to read it! Here are the details:Heartstone by Elle Katharine White
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by HarperCollins on January 17th 2017
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical
A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.
They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.
Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s 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.
Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.
“They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.”
This book… was amazing!
I’m going to start by saying that I’m not usually a fan of epic historical fantasy it’s just too much for me to ingest and this cover just screams it with that dragon… but I knew I had to give it a try when I read it was touted as Pride & Prejudice meets dragons, wyverns and warriors!
From the very first page I was pulled into this story, and yes you get hints of the P&P elements in both the plot and characters, but White has created her own story here filled with fantasy and imagination. It’s both familiar and something completely new and wondrous.
Aliza Bentaine lives at Merybourne Manor with her parents and sisters… the manor has recently come under attack by a pack of gryphons, including an attack that took the life of one of her beloved sisters. Aliza is our Elizabeth here… she’s quiet but loyal and loves her sisters and family, and she would do anything to keep them safe so the loss of her sister is heartbreaking. She’s reassured though when Lord Merybourne decides he has no choice but to hire a group of Riders to come rid the grounds of the gryphons and so arrives Alastair Daired.
Alastair is our Darcy equivalent character and dare I say he’s exactly who I had hoped he would be. Descended from a legendary warrior, Edan the Fireborn, he is a dragonmaster and cranky and grumpy and everything you would expect he might be. Of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s also handsome. From the get go Alastair and Aliza butt heads and disagree on so many things, but the predicaments they are forced into also build a level of trust and admiration between them.
But not only are our main characters well done, the secondary characters are wonderfully developed… from Master Brysney to Anjey, Leyda & Mari I loved getting to know each of them, and their parts of the story were just as developed as Aliza and Alastair. I also really enjoyed the development of all of the relationships in this story… from the sisters to the riders, their stories kept me turning pages and again you get hints of P&P here in the relationships that develop, but they are still totally unique!
Of course there is some romance… there are moments you will definitely swoon and if you’re like me, you can’t help but cheer for Aliza and Alastair as they learn that maybe they aren’t the person they originally thought each other were and learn more about what makes them who they are. Let’s just say my shipper heart was super happy… even if I did want some more kissing.
I mentioned that there are dragons in this story and I have to tell you that I loved them… I loved the history that White has created for them, and I really loved their role in this story. But dragons aren’t the only fantastical creature here… White introduces us to so many others and the world-building around them was wonderfully done.
It makes me sad to say that this is a stand-alone, because I selfishly want more! I will be looking forward to anything that White will be writing in the future. With excellent world-building, action-packed story-telling, and incredibly developed characters and relationships, I’m excited to get this on my all-time favorites bookshelf!
3 winners will receive a finished copy of HEARTSTONE, US Only.
Follow the Full Tour
1/9/2017- YA Book Nerd– Interview
1/10/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland – Review
1/11/2017- Novel Novice– Guest Post
1/12/2017- What the Cat Read– Review
1/13/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview
1/16/2017- Fiction Fare – Review
1/17/2017- The Eater of Books!– Excerpt
1/18/2017- History from a Woman’s Perspective– Review
1/19/2017- Stories & Sweeties– Excerpt
1/20/2017- The Book Nut– Review