• 784 pages
Know thyself. It's always good to know who you are, but sometimes that's a little difficult.
Kenhodan has no last name, because he has no past... or not one he remembers, anyway. What he does have are a lot of scars and a lot of skills, some exhilarating and some terrifying, and a purpose. Now if he only knew where he'd gotten them and what that purpose was...
Wencit of Rum, the most powerful wizard in the world, knows the answers to Kenhodan's questions, but he can't or won't share them with him. Except to inform him that he's a critical part of Wencit's millennium-long battle to protect Norfressa from conquest by dark sorcery.
Bahzell Bahnakson, champion of Tomanak, doesn't know those answers and the War God isn't sharing them with him. Except to inform Bahzell that the final confrontation with the Dark Lords of fallen Kontovar is about to begin, and that somehow Kenhodan is one of the keys to its final outcome.
Wulfra of Torfo doesn't know those answers, either, but she does know Wencit of Rum is her implacable foe and that Kenhodan is one of the weapons he intends to use against her... assuming she can't kill both of them first.
But in the far northern port city of Belhadan, an eleven-year-old girl knows the answers to all of Kenhodan's questions... and dares not share them with anyone, even the ancient wild wizard who loves her more dearly than life itself.
It's not easy to face the future when you can't even remember your own past, but if saving an entire world from evil sorcerers, demons, devils, and dark gods was easy, anyone could do it.
• 352 pages
GALAXY BOOKSELLER PICK ----- As an Austen fan, I was drawn to this fantasy retelling of Pride and Prejudice and was far from disappointed. White takes the framework of the original, so the proposals, the separations, the misconceptions are all still there, however she breathed new life into this classic with the inclusion of dragons, warriors and the constant threat of supernatural predators. Although they are not the exact same characters with the same dynamics as in Pride and Prejudice, you can recognise Austen's influence in White’s creation, only with less formality and comedic ridiculousness. White seamlessly added supernatural characters with distinct personalities to the mix. I loved the combination of the familiar and the new, where although I had a pretty good idea of where the story was going, thanks to White retaining the hallmark events of Pride and Prejudice, my journey went down different roads and the reading experience still felt fresh. It reads lighter than the original, but also puts a different spin on why characters made the choices they did. White surprised me at times. And best of all, she demonstrated a far, far greater respect and understanding of her story's source than Seth Grahame-Smith did when he clumsily Frankensteined zombies into the story. Although the writing and setting was not as Austenesque as Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamorist Histories, Heartstone stands as a worthy retelling of a classic and a fun fantasy read in its own right. Allison Rogers
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.