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Disappointing P&P Variation
I am a massive Jane Austen fan fiction Reader, so I’m always looking for new and interesting takes on my favorite story, Pride and Prejudice, and my favorite couple, Elizabeth and Darcy. I’m intrigued by ones where Darcy is a prince, so this book naturally piqued my interest. Unfortunately, I found the book to be extremely disappointing. The plot, as you might imagine from the description, varies widely from canon, but I don’t usually mind this; I like stories that place ODC in new circumstances and see how they fare. This is definitely meant to be a blend of Pride and Prejudice and Cinderella placed in a fantasy setting. So while Meryton and Pemberley exist in this world, Derbyshire has princes and princesses. There are other principalities within England as well as unaffiliated areas. For me, I found it difficult to reconcile this fantasy version of England with what I’m so familiar with in canon and real life.
Both the story and the characterization fall so far from canon that I think the author would have actually done better just to make a completely new story not associated with Pride and Prejudice. The Elizabeth Bennet in this story just doesn’t act like the Elizabeth Bennet that we know and love. I was immediately turned off from the book when it is stated early on that Elizabeth wants to slap her stepmother; that is so not Elizabeth Bennet! Her relationship with the servants is far too casual to feel believable. Other things the author has her say and do are so different that she is a wholly different character than Jane Austen’s creation, and not a completely likable one. I thought Darcy was a bit more stiff and unapproachable than even in canon. Jane was a weaker character, and even in her limited role, not like her character in canon. Part of the beauty of Jane’s character in the original is her unfailing kindness and ability to see the best in others; here, she is even sometimes cynical. These are just not the characters we know and love.
Some things that occurred in the story felt too modern, not of either the fantasy realm or the world of the typical Pride and Prejudice variation. There are also issues with grammar, punctuation, and usage. Since I was already not liking this story, this did grate on my nerves somewhat. If you enjoy Jane Austen fan fiction, I would suggest you look elsewhere for your next book.