Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Sophia Rose Reviews: Netherfield: Rogue Dragon by Maria Grace, Narrated by Benjamin Fife

Today I once again turn over the blog over to the very capable reviewing of pal Sophia Rose who is reviewing a very interesting fantasy staring Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Yep those Bennett and Darcy.
Enjoy!

Netherfield: Rogue Dragon by Maria Grace, Narrated by Benjamin Fife
#3 Jane Austen’s Dragons
Historical Fantasy Romance
Publisher:  Maria Grace
Published: 2.27.20
Time:  9 hours 36 minutes
Rating: 4.5
Narrator Rating: 4.5
Format: MP3
Source:  Audio Bookworm Promotions
Sellers:  Amazon/

ADD TO: GoodReads   
GoodReads Blurb:
Elizabeth Bennet thought she was prepared to do anything to make the Dragon Conclave accept her beloved young dragon Pemberley into the Blue Order, but she had not anticipated it would leave her banished from her ancestral home and betrothed to none other than Mr. Darcy. But before Elizabeth and Darcy wed, they must find a dangerous rogue dragon before it provokes a war amongst the dragons and brings the fragile peace between dragons and mankind to a catastrophic end.

Nothing written in the annals of dragon lore has prepared Elizabeth to manage a dragon not governed by the Blue Order. Dragons have always loved her, but this one finds her arrogant, selfish and insensitive to others. With only her instincts to guide her, she must convince the rogue of her good intentions before the Blue Order loses patience and decides on more drastic measures.

Called away to the other side of the kingdom, trying to settle the dragons' unrest, Darcy learns the nature of the force poisoning the rogue dragon against Elizabeth. One nearer and dearer than they could have imagined.

Can Elizabeth and Darcy convince with rogue dragon to cooperate before darker forces turn it against them, without destroying the fragile bonds uniting the couple?


Review:

The arc of this trilogy was at its zenith at the very end of the previous book, Longbourn, and that carries forward into the beginning of Netherfield.  The crisis point is nearing when the least little thing will set off a dragon war or end the treaty between dragons and humans in England.  Elizabeth is also experiencing her own personal catastrophe when she finds herself in a forced engagement, disowned by her family’s dragon and nearly abandoned by her family even while several are depending on her to somehow find her way.  All the markings of a final book, right?

In the first two books, Elizabeth shines with her knowledge and intuition when it comes to dragons and she’s not half-bad reading people, but the gal has serious blindspots when it comes to certain people and certain dragons.  The foreshadowing leads the listener to see what Elizabeth does not and just helps ratchet up the tension in the story.  Elizabeth is dogmatic about Longbourn’s guilt and is venomously angry when she is not consulted about a way to handle the rogue dragon.  Several people try to get her to step back, check her emotions and her ego.  She’s never wrong about dragons and that has gone to her head a bit though her common sense and tender feelings balance that a little.  She has come a long way through the books, but she has to hit rock bottom before the real growth could happen and that includes seeing the worthiness of the man who loves her.

Elizabeth wasn’t the only obstinate character- her father, her sister Mary, her cousin Collins, and whew yeah, Longbourn the stubborn family dragon.  It made for some crusty encounters.  Oh, and let’s not forget the most stubborn and outlandish of them all- Lydia, Elizabeth’s spoilt brat youngest sister!  I really do wish a dragon had eaten her at several points- her and Collins though yeah, I softened a little on that by the end.

But, as many people as struggled with such traits and emotions, it was lovely to see Darcy has been coming into his own and being the man Elizabeth needs him to be and the human who their dragon friends can depend on.  Elizabeth is his vulnerable spot because he knows she is still hesitant about their engagement so he works hard to show her that he might not have her intuition for dragons or her knowledge of common dragon lore, but he does respect her and sees past her gender.  He is also forced to confront her, knowing he might lose all he has gained in their growing relationship.

Speaking of dragon friends, it was fabulous getting back in Maria Grace’s dragon world.  Walker and Cait the cockatrices, April the fairy dragon, the fun new puck who hoards bunnies of all things, and the great dragons like Longbourn, Cownt Matlock, the eastern emissary and the rogue.  I love that in Jane Austen’s Dragon series the dragons make up most of the cast of characters and they are front and center with their own quirks, personalities, and conflicts right alongside their human counterparts.

The mystery of the Netherfield property and the rogue was suspenseful and built up nicely with a riveting climax scene.

Benjamin Fife is the dragon guru.  He is a good narrator as a whole, but he shines when he takes up one of the many tricky dragon voices.  From curmudgeonly Longbourn to a newly hatched cockatrice (so cute is our Earl by the by), a French dragon and a far eastern one.  He was challenged through the whole series, but never so much as with Netherfield Rogue Dragon.  I was captivated and would definitely listen to his work again.

The denouement cinched up this trilogy so well.  No threads were left dangling and yet, there is always room for more stories from this world.  The worldbuilding of dragons meshed with a real human historical era was sensational and I would gladly read/listen to more.  I can heartily recommend the series to those who want a solid historical fantasy romance with good character growth and great character development layered with a growing suspenseful plot.

Author Bio:
Five time BRAG Medallion Honoree and #1 best selling Historical Fantasy author, Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences. She pretends to be a mild-mannered writer/cat-lady, but most of her vacations require helmets and waivers or historical costumes, usually not at the same time.
She writes gaslamp fantasy, historical romance and non-fiction to help justify her research addiction.
Website:  www.randombitsoffascination.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/WriteMariaGrace


Sophia’s Bio:
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia’s Social Media Links:



12 comments:

  1. Sophia Rose I think I've seen it all now Jane Austin's characters with dragons. And it sounds really interesting too. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Oh isn't it great? And she just released a new one with dragons mixed with the Persuasion story. :)

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  2. Replies
    1. It was an incredible complex world she built and I loved it.

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  3. Every time you review another of these books I can understand why you seem to like them even more.

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  4. I like the sounds of this one. How can you go wrong with dragons?!

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    1. You share my sentiments on dragons, Jenea. :)

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  5. What a fun concept! I love all the fun adaptations! Great review.

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    1. It really was, Jen. She put some thought and time into her historical dragon world.

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  6. More dragons! :D
    I think I had a Darcy dream last night lol

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    1. Oooh, I've had a few Darcy daydreams, myself. Guess what? She just wrote a Persuasion and dragon story, too. :)

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