• Pemberley: Mr. Darcy's Dragon: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

  • Jane Austen's Dragons, Book 1
  • By: Maria Grace
  • Narrated by: Benjamin Fife
  • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (211 ratings)

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Pemberley: Mr. Darcy's Dragon: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

By: Maria Grace
Narrated by: Benjamin Fife
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Publisher's Summary

England is overrun by dragons of all shapes and sizes. Most people are blissfully unaware of them and the Pendragon Treaty that keeps the peace between human and dragon kind. Only those born with preternatural hearing, like Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are able to hear and converse with dragonkind.  

When the first firedrake egg laid in a century is stolen from Pemberley, the fragile dragon peace teeters on collapse. Darcy has no choice but to chase down the thief, a journey that leads him to quaint market town of Meryton and fellow Dragon Keeper, Elizabeth Bennet.    

Elizabeth shares a unique bond with dragons, stronger than anything Darcy has ever experienced. More than that, her vast experience and knowledge of dragon lore may be the key to uncovering the lost egg. But Elizabeth can’t stand Darcy’s arrogance and doesn’t trust him to care properly for a precious baby firedrake. After all, he already lost the egg once. What’s to prevent it from happening again?  

Can he win her trust and recover the stolen egg before it hatches and sends England spiraling back into the Dark Ages of Dragon War?  

Jane Austen meets Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. A must-listen for Pern fans.

©2016 Maria Grace (P)2019 Maria Grace

What listeners say about Pemberley: Mr. Darcy's Dragon: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great Dragon inspired Pride and Prejudice story!

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I love and admire this entire series. It has completely occupied all my spare time since I saw this first book in the series, here at Audible. The personalities and foibles of all the characters Dragon and Human are what makes this so entrancing. Their entire society is well thought out and expressed. I enjoyed it too much to wait for the rest of the series to be released in audio format. But per the author they are going to released soon.
The narration was very good. I did find The voice of April the Fairy Dragon to be quite irritating . Even though that’s exactly how she was described, I wish Mr. Fife hadn’t been so exacting in his portrayal.
There is a prequel, A Proper Introduction to Dragons, in Kindle Unlimited, it could be read at any time. I read it first and I’m glad I did. It gave so many insights into the Dragon Accords, The Order and the different dragons that it enhanced my enjoyment and understanding in this book and the rest of the series.

10 people found this helpful

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Enchanting

What a fun story! I love Jane Austin and this fan fiction of Pride and Prejudice uses so much of her original story to tell a delightful and very different story. The narrator is very clever, while the original characters sound like they are straight from the BBC the dragons voices are enchanting and believable. I loved it!

4 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly impressive!

Dragons meet Jane Austen in a surprisingly entertaining story that is one part fantasy, one party mystery, and one part romance.

This is my first exposure to Benjamin Fife and I have to say, wow!

Although at times his voices sound just a touch nasal, each and every voice in the book is unique. Even the female and Dragon voices are all different and fit their subjects perfectly. He is a master of both vocal inflections and tempo shifts.

Honestly, I almost passed on this book. I saw it multiple times in various places before I finally decided to take a chance and devote some time to it.

Not only am I not a fan of Jane Austen's writing style (which this book naturally models to a certain extent), but I'm also not typically fond of Regency period fiction.

That said, however, this book has a similar charm (though very different storyline, of course) to the Lady Trent books by Marie Brennan, which I absolutely adore.

Although there are quite a few characters to keep track of, including nearly a dozen dragons, each is surprisingly well developed. Once things got going there was no confusion about who was who.

Clearly, most if not all of these characters are based on the originals created by Jane Austen, with flaws and quirks translated into a new world quite well.

Speaking of the world, the world building is fantastic. Although I'm not personally fond of the direction the author went with the dragons, it's all very well developed. I can definitely see the Pern influence there. The author has clearly thought through the societal ramifications of having dragons exist in the time period.

There are several mysteries throughout, most of which are resolved though one is open ended. Overall, the reveals of the various mysteries are well timed and satisfying.

The only critique I have that's not tied to either the period or Jane Austen is about that final mystery (main plot). It just felt a little too convenient and didn't really require anything of either protagonist to solve it.

Following that final reveal, however, the ending comes together nicely with an excellent weaving of character and plot arcs with more than one rather emotional character moment.

Definitely looking forward to reading book 2!

3 people found this helpful

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Didn’t think I would like this, now I’m on Book 5!

I am not a JAFF “purist” (May have said that before), but I kept putting off trying this series. Most of the reviews I had read were from people that loved Dragons, but also loved Jane Austen. I don’t think I’ve tried a Dragon book since I was a Teen. Nothing against them, just not my usual read.

I was in one of my “binge Jane” moods and had already re-listened to a couple of my favorites when I went to Audible to see if something new was out, and this one popped up, again. I figured I’d give Book 1 a try and then either move on to something else or see if it kept my interest enough for Book 2. Well, 3 books later, I’m on Book 5 with Book 6 in my Library waiting.

Needless to say, I love it.

The story is well developed, the dragon world is very believable, not so far on the side of fantasy that we lose JAFF. Very well crafted. Each character, both warm and cold blooded, had their own personality and motives. I didn’t even mind that Book 1 ended when Darcy went to Rosings. The dragons are neatly interwoven into the P&P story we know and love. Darcy’s Companion Dragon, Walker, is a falcon-like creature, and their “persuasions” allow those that are not aware of dragons to see him as such. This was a fascinating way of disguising dragons in plain sight. His personality reminded me of Richard FitzWilliams’ role in some stories. Richard is in this story as well, but, the next time I see a hummingbird, I will wonder if it’s actually a Fairy Dragon, so named for their size. 🤣

Some of the fantasy or sci-fi I have read will sometimes spend so much time “world building” that you have to read half of the book to get your feet firmly in the new world. Not so here, although, if you want a deeper dive into this world, read Book 4 first as it is a prequel to this one. I didn’t, so I’ll let you decide if you want to do that or just dive in like I did. I didn’t know there was a “prequel” until I was looking for Book 2. By the end of Book 3, I honestly decided to skip it and went to 5.

It took a minute to get used to Mr. Fife, but I seriously cannot imagine anyone that could have voiced the dragons better. He does a fantastic job going from a very high pitched voice for some of the smaller or younger dragons to a very deep baritone or even bass for some of the more ferocious varieties. I did slow him down to 0.90 though.

Yes, his Lizzy voice occasionally reminds me of Bea Arthur (Dorothy on The Golden Girls🤣) but the inflections are feminine enough to make it believable. This, honestly, is not unusual for a male narrator and he does as well, or better, than others.
(Later edit: his voice gets much better in future books in the series, no more raspy slips).







2 people found this helpful

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Proof that everything is better with dragons

Pemberley, is the first book in the Jane Austen's Dragons series. This series takes the classic regency tales by Jane Austen and adds dragons.

I have a confession: I hate pride and prejudice. it's just not an interesting story. So when I say that this draconic retelling is really good then you should believe it.

Pemberley fixes everything I hay about the original. The plot, the character motivations, it is all a thousand times better.

The only problem is it's not the end. This book only covers the first half of P&P. The story is continued in the next book.

As much as I enjoyed this revision of P&P, I still wonder why make a retelling? Pemberley features so much new world building that it would have made a perfectly original story, without overlaying the P&P plot points and names.

The narrator is Benjamin Fife and if you have never heard him read before, then you are in for a real treat. He gives the characters unique voices and he is one o the few men that can dona convincing female voice without sounding mocking. I especially love the voices he gives to the dragons.

The Fairy Dragons are my favorite.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Story, can hear the narrator breath

I didn't like that we could here it when the narrator took a breath and there were many places where else the pause was insanely long. I will say he was amazing at the difference voices.

The story was good. for the most part I could overlook the breaths. I enjoyed the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth in this book. I loved the dragons, they were such great characters. While this bookndoes not leave you with a cliffhanger, it does leave at a place where you know there should be more story.

2 people found this helpful

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Jane Austen with Dragons Oh My!

Pride and Prejudice with dragons. How can I not want to give this a go? The interactions between humans, dragons, and those unable to hear dragons are a very original idea. My first book from this author, and I was pretty impressed with her extensive ability to pay attention to the details of the original story and the one she is creating. Being the first book, we are still learning about the interaction between keeper and dragon. Still, from what I can tell, Longbourn (dragon) and Mr. Bennett don't care how their demands on Elizabeth suffocate her. With this being an audiobook, the variety of voices used to read the story enhanced my enjoyment as we met different types of dragons in the hunt for the stolen egg.
I recommend picking this one up for those who enjoy high fantasy with solid dragon lore but also love mash-ups with an Austen classic.

1 person found this helpful

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Truth universally acknowledged, that dragons rule

never been all that interested in Jane Austin before. Just not really my thing. But the edition of dragons, adventure and mystery give the romance and politics new context that make it absolutely delightful. I've already purchased the next books in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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love the story.

loved the story. narrator took some getting used too. but story interesting enough that I kept listening. he grows on you over time

1 person found this helpful

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Truly enjoy this book again and again

Of course there were dragons in Jane Austin's time! She just forgot to mention them! I love dragons, so when I came across Maria's world that combined the two... I fell hard. Maria writes great stories. Remembering to include humor to relieve tension or provide light-hearted moments for key characters is very important to me, and Maria does that with appropriate taste. So delightful!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gillian M
  • 07-07-20

Excellent Pride & Prejudice with dragons combo

Pride & Prejudice is my favourite Jane Austen book and I love anything to do with dragons so I was curious to see how Maria Grace’s P&P variation would turn out. ‘Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon (Jane Austen’s Dragons Book 1)’ is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Austen’s P&P characters are there and the original construct has been used as a loose framework that Maria Grace has then interwoven with a rich tapestry of dragons and dragon lore in an alternative universe and added a quest, a mystery, action, intrigue, humour.

Elizabeth and Darcy’s characters develop a greater depth. Mr Bennet and Mary’s characters are expanded as they play much bigger roles. In fact Mr Bennet’s flaws, which are implied in Austen’s book, are magnified and developed by Grace as an integral part of her storyline. Elizabeth and Mr Bennett still have a ‘special relationship’, but it is bound up with dragon keeping and there is no real sympathy for or attempt at understanding of his daughter’s feelings so we don’t see any tenderness.

I love the variety of dragons and their various personalities. It is fascinating how they interact with different humans depending on whether the humans can hear/understand and converse with dragons or aren’t able to hear/understand dragons but are susceptible to dragon suggestion ‘spells’. Anyone who is ‘dragon deaf’ and is to inherit an estate where a dragon has its keep presents a big problem.

The Audible book adds that extra dimension and really brings this story to life. Benjamin Fife does a superb job with the narration producing an extensive repertoire of different voices for the human and dragon characters. I really enjoyed listening to this first instalment of a three-part story and am looking forward to the second book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • nerak
  • 06-11-20

Brilliant, Absorbing and Fascinating

I was provided with a free copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review.

What a wonderful adaptation of the original Pride and Prejudice novel. This was a delight and joy to listen to. I have always loved fantasy novels and dragons are a big part of that love, so combining the wit and social commentary of Jane Austen with the temperamental agitation of having dragons in your life was a fantastic adventure for me.

Maria has managed to combine the two elements into a beautiful retelling of Elizabeth and Darcy, using their original characters to develop through the advent of being dragon keepers. Keeping the ideals of Austen clear in the story while incorporating a whole new world of dragons and dragon lore is not an easy thing to do, and I greatly admire the author for attempting this.

I have given five stars for everything because I cannot fault the writing, the performance or the adaptation. I am sure that some people will comment that Austen's work should not be meddled with, but I do not care. The results of this meddling are too delightful for me to fault in any way.

Benjamin Fife does a lovely job of giving each dragon its own voice, from squeaking and high pitched to full-throated roaring. He also develops a tone for both Elizabeth and Darcy that match their characters.

I will point out for those of you expecting it to complete the same way as Pride and Prejudice, it is the first of a series so do not expect Elizabeth and Darcy's story to come to its end in this installment.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Susannah
  • 07-14-19

A Riveting listen.

Who knew that dragons could slot so easily into the world of Jane Austen? This fantasy adventure is action packed from beginning to end while still following much of the storyline from Pride and Prejudice.

The narration was fabulous and the range of character voices worked really well and were consistent. The narration was well paced and kept you engrossed in the story.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Pride and Prejudice variations and the fantasy genre. Can't wait to listen to the next installments!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gill M
  • 03-20-21

A firedrake dragon egg hatching - a rare event

This is book one of Maria Grace's Jane Austen's Dragons series. It can be read first, but reading book four, A Proper Introduction to Dragons would be preferable entry to the series. You need to read books one, two and three to get the entire story.
This combines a Pride and Prejudice variation, with fantasy about dragons. It will appeal to both JAFF readers and fans of fantasy.

Regency England is overrun by dragons. Most people are entirely unaware, because they cannot hear them and are persuaded not to see them. Those with the ability to hear dragons work in the Blue Order, to support the Pendragon Treaty that keeps the peace between human and dragon kind. Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn is part of the Blue Order and a junior keeper, assisting her father in taking care of their dragon.

Into the local area comes Mr Bingley and his friend Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley. Darcy is part of the Blue Order and his estate Pemberley once belonged to the old dragon Pemberley. The dragon died five years ago, when he inherited the estate. The new dragon has not yet hatched. The first firedrake egg to hatch in a century is a precious thing. Then it is stolen!

Darcy has traced the egg to Hertfordshire and is desperate to find it. Time is of the essence. Eggs must hatch in the presence of a Keeper, so that it imprints and accepts humans. Otherwise the dragon will be wild and very dangerous! Such a dragon will face a dragon slayer for the protection of all.

Elizabeth is drawn to dragons and they to her. Her easy relationships and instinctive knowledge of how best to interact with dragons, surprises Darcy. He soon comes to value her skills and acknowledge he needs her help.
Unfortunately, Darcy does not make a good impression on the local residents. Elizabeth finds him arrogant and conceited. Will they be able to work together to find the egg and save the dragon?

The story focusses on Elizabeth, Mr Darcy, Mr Bennet and the many dragons. Although the rest of the Bennets are included, only Mary has a role, as she learns to manage dragons. Mr Bennet continues to be an antagonistic curmudgeon. Elizabeth is a strong character, who knows her value. She is however, thoroughly exasperated by the dismissive attitudes of her father and possibly Darcy. The dragon characters are well drawn and engaging. I think the dragons are probably the most appealing characters in the book.

This is a great story and the hatching scenes are thrilling. The ending leaves you desperate to know what happens next. Book two awaits! I would recommend it to all fans of JAFF and fantasy.

This whole series is narrated by Benjamin Fife. His narration is very good, his voice warm and pleasing to listen to. His female voices are convincing and his dragon voices are excellent.

I look forward to more stories by Maria Grace.

I received a free copy of this audiobook via StoryOrigin and am voluntarily leaving a review. All views expressed are my own.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anne Magrat
  • 01-18-21

Where do I start....

Well, the narrator is awful! Such a foney-fake English accent, Dick Van Dyke would have been better! The lack of research on pronunciation is highly entertaining Derbyshire pronounced Durbyshire, rather than "Darby", Longbourne is misspronounced as "Langburn". Also the narrator is so fast and high-pitched I had to slow it down to 0.85 speed. It actually sounds like it's a recording done for YouTube, or some such, by an amateur. You are aware of pages turning, the pause/stop/cut etc. It all distracts from the story, which I'm sure is better, in a tongue-in-cheek way, but is so annoying in the narrative. My recommendation is buy the book, don't bother with the audio.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jean Smith
  • 12-17-20

What a wonderful dragonly rendition.

I totally loved this version of Pride and Prejudice. The injection of dragons into the tale proved very entertaining. While the author was able to maintain the personalities of the original cast of characters she did an awesome job at bringing the various dragons to life as well. The selection of the narrator can only be described as most fitting. He has a wonderful wealth of voices to add to the characters. Can't wait to listen to the next.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Angel Cross
  • 09-28-20

Lovely tale about dragons

This is a wonderful tale of dragons and their Keepers. As Mr. Darcy works hard to find his stolen dragon, another dragon Keeper must work hard to save her family's estate. Great world building. The characters are well described and the story flows smoothly. A wonderful adventure and a fantastic escape from the real world. The narration was wonderfully done and brought further life to the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fred Jones
  • 09-24-20

A Glorious Novel

Love this story, the author has created a wonderful world and has Jane Austen's style perfectly. The Dragon's seem to fit as if they have always been part of the story. Longbourn and Pemberley as Dragon's. Darcy and Bennet as dragon keepers it is such a fabulous idea. There is a touch of mystery that is unresolved for the next book which I have already got.
The narrator is a joy wonderful range of voices for the humans and Dragons perfect delivery enhances the enjoyment even more.
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 09-22-20

I didn't know dragons were my thing.

Having never really gone into the fantasy dragon genre before, the only references to dragons have been from Shrek and Lord of the Rings and I'll be the first to admit that's probably not the greatest examples of dragon lore. However, I did really enjoy this book and I feel a know dragons, and their attitudes, a little better as a result.

I know at least some "history" now and explains, why, at times dragons are the focus in other stories of ferociousness and the need to hunt a dragon. If dragon lore doesn't match up completely, it's certainly given me additional views and deeper understanding of other stories that have dragons in them.

I wanted to listen to more of this audio book in one go. Unfortunately, the faerie dragon have a really high-pitched voice and the ear-buds I was listening with would cause me to wince more than a few times. It's not super bad, as it's only the fairy dragon dialog, and partly my fault. Regardless I ended up playing most of the audio book while in the car so took me a little longer than I would have liked to enjoy the story.

Looking forward to the second book now. I didn't know dragons were my thing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nadine Vrijhof
  • 09-14-20

An original Pride and Prejudice Variation

The narrator: he was easy to follow. All the voices were very understandable, which is harder than it seems! So that was really good. And he did the voices in a humorous way. He did sound a bit… I don’t know the English term; we call it ‘hot potato in the throat’ in Dutch, like there’s something in the throat making the voice deep and the words originate audibly from deep within the throat. That meant I had to get used to the voice, but once I was used to it, it was good, pleasant.

The story: I normally don’t care for Pride and Prejudice variations, because Jane Austen did it best. But this was such a different spin on it, with the dragons, that I was intrigued. And it was fun!!! A lot of fun!!! At least, it started out that way… It did follow the lines of Jane Austen’s book, so there were some bits very familiar. But the way the dragons were worked in I thought was original. But: it was a bit too similar in terms of the romance part. But on the other hand, in the bits that were new, the people interacted out-of-character. The way Mr. Bennett and Darcy were arguing very fervently, I didn’t like that. Bennett calling Darcy a fool to his face? And more conversations were somewhat harsher than the characters I know and a bit too harsh for that time, the 19th century. It annoyed me because it wasn’t necessary. And some parts were drawn out to the point of me thinking, move on with it! A bit slow. So the romance parts were somewhat boring because Jane Austen did that and better, and the dragon parts were interesting but not enough to lift the whole thing. A strange mix. I think it would have been better to write a dragon story with new people. Or make it really different from the original. Now the romance bits are sometimes literally Jane Austen’s words. I had expected more about the search for the egg. And not so much a search-while-normal-life-goes-on. I don’t know how to explain it, but I had expected more. But it got better. I still preferred the bits about the dragons over the bits that weren’t any different from what Jane Austen wrote. I’m sorry, but if I want to read that, I’ll get my old copy by Jane Austen out! The romance is just too literal! I’d have liked the focus to be more on the dragons. Yet I kept on listening!

*** Spoiler alert ***
Elizabeth and Darcy didn’t find the egg. The egg was found, but not by them and I think it would have been better if Elizabeth had found it.
*** END OF SPOILER ***

A bit anticlimactic for me. The bones of a good story were definitely there! But it should have been more about the search. BTW, the romance is not finished yet. We’re maybe halfway.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bel
  • 12-11-20

A great book but tough to narrate

This is a really fun series, the world building is clever and thoroughly done so that Dragons are not just an added quirk to spin a classic but necessary and functional.

It's a tough book to narrate because of the dragons (fairy dragons are horribly squeeky) and the weird not quite British accent (and the resulting unusual pronunciations) irked me no end but I also couldn't out it down. Persist, it's worth it.

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  • Rosemary Hughes
  • 12-08-20

The werè version of pride and prejudice.

As many supernatural writers often proclaim, humans don't see what is before there nose, so anything supernatural is written off with some logical explanation.
So, we are now, through new eyes, seeing the story from those who can 'hear' point of view. What they 'hear' are dragons. Our favorite love match, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy both can 'hear', as do some of the Bennett family.
The problem of stolen dragon egg is the basis for Mr Darcy venturing into Miss Bennett's domicile.
I love the narrator's vocalizations characters, especially for the Dragons.
Yes, this explains a lot, in such a way, I believe Miss Austen would have approved.