MR. DARCY’S ENCHANTMENT
by Abigail Reynolds
White Soup Press
Formats available: Paperback, Electronic
Pub Date: 11.27.18 | 483 pages
REVIEWER: Sophia Rose
E-arc provided by author for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opi
In a Regency England where magic and faeries are real…
Fitzwilliam Darcy is a powerful magician who controls fire, water, and wind. What he cannot control is his growing feelings for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. But Darcy is also sworn to uphold the laws which forbid women to use magic, and Elizabeth knows it.
Elizabeth’s sentiments towards Darcy are quite different. She detests his arrogance, and she fears he will expose her use of forbidden magic. He is the last man in the world she would choose to help her on a difficult and dangerous task.
But when a magical war looms between the land of Faerie and their world, a Lord of Faerie demands that Darcy and Elizabeth serve together as his emissaries to make peace with the other mortals. That mission throws them into the middle of a chaotic power struggle between magicians whose power dwarfs their own, and everything Elizabeth has ever believed about her family, her friends, and her enemies will be called into question.
This magical variation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice makes the land of Faerie as real as Regency London and Rosings Park, as bestselling author Abigail Reynolds presents new challenges for Darcy and Elizabeth in her longest and most enchanting story to date. http://www.pemberleyvariations.com/books/mr-darcys-enchantment/
When offered the opportunity to read a book that pairs Austen’s Pride & Prejudice with magic and faeries, there really was only one answer. Of course, I snatched it up and was oblivious to the outside world for hours at a time- fey magic?
First of all, this book can be read by all comers. No prior history with Austen’s P&P or Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream are needed. If you like tales of the fey or historical fantasy romances, you’ll do fine- better than fine, actually.
What a fascinating story! The author cleverly melded not just characters and settings in this story, but story themes and character traits: a proud Darcy, a prejudiced Elizabeth, a silly Mrs. Bennet, a revolting Mr. Collins, an enchanting King Oberon and Queen Titania, a vile Wickham, and so on.
The story is long, but reads swiftly. It does drop the reader right into a situation that obviously feels like an opening act has already taken place, but once the first chapter is finished, that feeling is gone because the reader is caught up in the characters and plot. Essentially, Regency England has magic and non-magic users, a knowledge that faery exists and the lesser fey live on the human side of the divide and are only visible to children. But, only men are allowed to have magic and be trained as mages. Gasp, yes! Does that mean women don’t have magic? No, it means if they demonstrate it then their magic is bound and it has a poor effect on their mind. Our heroine is clever and incensed at this inequality. She loathes anyone associated with the Collegium of Mages who enforce this and perpetuate the falsities that women can’t handle magic. And guess what group our hero is a member of? The sparks fly when Darcy learns swiftly just what Lizzy thinks of him and the Mages when he made the mistake of proposing. Not only does she hate him, but she is terrified that he will expose her for a magic user. Instead of slinking away to lick his wounds, this is when Darcy’s character truly shines and he steps up as the hero- which, incidentally, was exactly what the wary Lizzy needed to see.
After part one that introduces the world, the characters, and the plot, there is a twist when the world of the fey and the war with the fey is introduced. Kudos for a good balance of description and plot during the visits in faery. It did slow down the story, but not ponderously so. The reader gets enough description and education in fey ways to see the whimsical differences, but the story keeps moving forward. This is when the author inserted some original worldbuilding about the fey, but also the human-magic using world. Nice twists how secrets came out in both Darcy’s and Lizzy’s families.
By the time the half-way point is reached, the story really takes off and through much of the last part, I was completely riveted and couldn’t stop turning pages. At the high point, I was teary-eyed at a big sacrifice, at another point I was chuckling over the antics of a mischievous phouka, and oh yes, the romances (there are more than one just as there are several main players other than the main couple, but I don’t want to do spoilers) were indeed swoonworthy.
All in all, this was as enchanting as the title states. What a spectacular story that left me satisfied and with the knowledge that this will be a re-read at some point. Those who enjoy historical and fantasy brought together with romance and thrilling magical action should not hesitate to reach for this book.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.