Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in  as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.
Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.
I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Longbourn: Dragon Entail” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with Benjamin Fife on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
What I loved about the first novel in this series “Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon”:
We retreat back into the world lit alive by Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett in a rather charming viewing of this family’s evening traditions. It is here were we find the incomparable Mrs Bennett still with a glint of criticism to share on her observations of her family and Lizzie herself, who is gathering requests for a story to be told about dragons. The young boys in her presence are besotted with the idea – barely able to contain themselves or the immediate glee they are experiencing over the prospect of what Lizzie might tell them about their favourite creature. And, thus our entrance into the Jane Austen Dragons series begins as if we never left this world at all – well, except with one minor difference, the last time I visited dragons were never whispered about nor aptly disclosed.
It is in this children’s story about the back history of dragons we first caught a glimpse of the first human who could interact with dragons due to his ability to ‘hear’ them; an unfamiliar trait amongst humans who previously were unable to communicate with dragons previously. This man was Uther Pendragon. And, thus the back lineage of dragons and humans is explained through how our original contacts with dragons began quite humbly and how Pendragon forged a unique capacity for peace with the dragon king he had met and of whom had given him gifts to takeaway with him. This was an interesting section of the story as it set down the tradition of how men kept falcons and why women kept birds; a seemingly uninteresting habit and yet, if you were to view this with the back history of how this tradition was manifested first through the meetings of dragons, it gives new meaning behind why humans have feathered companions.
This was a beautiful segue moment – where you can view this world in one dimensional lens and re-view it through the dimensional lens Ms Grace is writing for us to find disclosed. It was shortly after the bedtime story concluded where we first understood who Lizzie’s feathered companion really is and how she fits into the history of dragons inside this world. It is a slow building arc towards showcasing how most of the inhabitants still believe themselves to be living a rather ordinary experience – to see the non-magical elements round them and taking that as stock for what is truly the reality they know and love. Yet, behind that veilled reality there is a keener one, a more fantastical one which is seeking to merge into known history and the perceptional assumption everyone had already made about their own living sphere. It here I felt Ms Grace made a wonderful gesture towards breaking us out of the tradition of Pride and Prejudice and what we knew of the Regency to exchange it for this wholly new set of rules and traditions for this new world emerging into our view. I found it as fascinating of a transition as I had previously when I first learnt the word muggle and the differences therein in a universe just as fantastical as this one.
Ms Grace took us through a conjoined and mutually admired lens of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice storyline – keeping us clued into the familiar and then taking us into heightened new additions – not just the dragons but how she constructed this world ‘behind’ the lore and legend which has become the Jane Austen universe. It is in that breadth of entrance I could definitely see why the narrator Mr Fife was talking to me in my forthcoming interview about how expansive this world is going to become – because it isn’t locked into strictly resonating with our memories of Pride but will endeavour itself to re-transition through different components of theory and thought from each of Austen’s novels.
I truly loved her instincts – such as how she put in a new reason and central arc of intrigue into why the soldiers would be in Meryton and how this had a cross-effect of importance with the dragons. Similarly to how she enlarged the mindfulness of understanding why female heirs were not giving real estate and how this new component of needing a Dragon Keeper (a person who can hear and see dragons) is just as relevant as the old rules for the entailled property to go to a male heir. She takes the traditions of the story itself and then re-visualises how it can become augmented into a dragon society living adjacent and cohabitating with the humans who reside here. I found it wicked brilliant!
If you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice in a long while this is a wonderful re-visitation of the story – as Maria Grace aligns you so wholly true to where Jane Austen took us into her novel. The added benefit is the secondary arc wherein the dragons reign alongside the ton and country society the Bennett’s have become renown. As you take this journey each new corridor of the original story is re-explored and re-heightened by the presence of Grace’s dragons. It is hard not to spoilt what you will find within this new series because of how readily true she has written her world into Austen’s and vice versa. You almost question which of the world’s came first – even knowing the answer and that is a mark of a wicked good storycrafter who has given those of us who love Austen a new experience of her stories!
-quoted from my review of Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon
Longbourn: Dragon Entail
Subtitle: Jane Austen's Dragons Book Two
by Maria Grace
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Benjamin Fife
Darcy thought his problems were over when Pemberley hatched and successfully imprinted on humans. But baby dragons prove far more difficult than any dragon lore prepared him for. Only Elizabeth Bennet's notes offer him any help. When his imperious Aunt Catherine takes matters into her own hands, things take a turn for the worse and Pemberley’s life hangs in the balance. He desperately needs more of Elizabeth’s help, but she ignores all of his requests.
Elizabeth, though, has problems of her own. After the Bennet family dragon sent Pemberley away, life at Longbourn was supposed to return to normal and Elizabeth get on with the all-important business of marrying the heir to her father’s estate. Except that he is the last man in the world whom she could ever be prevailed on to marry - a bumbling, addle-pated dragon-hater who demands she gives up the dragons she lives for.
Can she, with the help of her dragon friends, find her way back to Pemberley before they both suffer their fate from the Dragon Entail?
Jane Austen meets Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern. A must-listen for Pern fans.
Genres: After Canons, Dragon Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Historical-Fantasy, Mythological Fantasy, Re-telling &/or Sequel
Places to find the book:
Borrow from a Public Library
Add to LibraryThing
Also by this author: Pemberley: Mr Darcy's Dragon, Narrator Interview (Jane Austen's Dragons), Netherfield: Rogue Dragon
Also in this series: Pemberley: Mr Darcy's Dragon, Netherfield: Rogue Dragon
Published by Self Published
Format: Audiobook | Digital
Length: 9 hours and 38 minutes (unabridged)
The Jane Austen Dragons series:
A Proper Introduction to Dragons (prequel)
Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon (book one) (see also Review)
Longbourn: Dragon Entail (book two)
Netherfield: Rogue Dragon (book three)
Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook
Converse via: #JaneAustensDragons + #AudioReads, #Audiobook
as well as #Pemberley, #MrDarcy OR #LizzieAndDarcy
& #JaneAusten, #PrideAndPrejudice #aftercanon
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: