Sep 112017
 

An Incredibly Inventive Adventure

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation (Alternate History)

SETTING: 1811, England (under French rule)

SYNOPSIS: Six years ago Napoleon invaded England. Bringing in his militia, enforcing fees to pay for the war, stripping titles from the aristocracy, and seizing homes and properties of the wealthy Napoleon now has England completely in its power. But curiously enough Mr. Darcy of Pemberley still has his land and appears to be cooperating with the French. A situation that has lost him some friends and their respect. But is he really a traitor? What reason could Mr. Darcy have for consorting with the enemy?

WHAT I LOVED:

  • Bold and Inventive: Not many Pride and Prejudice variations rewrite history! This was truly a unique situation, and it was interesting to explore what kind of changes and impact Napoleon’s invasion would have not just on the Pride and Prejudice story-line but on the way of life for all the people of England. Not only does Abigail Reynolds proves her fearlessly and ingenuity with this wonderfully original tale, she executes it all plausibly and mastefully! I appreciated how small details like the quality of tea and fashions were included to emphasize the different circumstances of England.
  • An Adorable Meet Cute: I love the references to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, the vividly described setting, and the antics of a precocious puppy! In a story beset by despair and bleak circumstances it was absolutely lovely to have this spark of magic between Darcy and Elizabeth. I especially liked how they would refer back to it often.
  • Mr. Darcy: This story is propelled by Darcy, his past decisions, and his mission. I greatly enjoyed seeing Mr. Darcy portrayed as a man with such strong integrity and principles. He is placed in a very difficult situations and endures countless sacrifices. But through it all he displays an admirable fortitude, an honorable commitment to his responsibilities, and an inspiring ability to be compassionate and empathetic towards the opposing side. This is not a haughty, proud, or selfish Mr. Darcy, this is Mr. Darcy at his very best. Who wouldn’t admire and love such a man?
  • New Characters: We see decidedly less of some characters like Lady Catherine, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, and Mr. Collins in this tale. Which leaves room for new original characters to come into play. I really enjoyed seeing more of Mrs. Fitzwilliam (as she is known in this book), her children, and also a close relation of Mr. Darcy’s that he has had a somewhat strained relationship with (that was a fun twist!). But I think my favorite new characters would be General Desmarais and his wife. I enjoyed seeing the complex and tenuous relationship this French general had with Mr. Darcy.  How it can both easy and difficult to find friendship across enemy lines.

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • Truly, I was fond of everything. The only thing I could possibly mention is that it seemed a little implausible for some of the major latter events of the story take place so quickly and easily.  But perhaps Ms. Reynolds was wise not prolong the more combative elements of this tale. 😉

CONCLUSION:

Conceit and Concealment is an exhilarating tale of romance and rebellion, disguise and despair, action and angst, treachery and treason! Abigail Reynolds once again delivers an exceptionally wonderful Pride and Prejudice tale that will enthrall readers who love strong protagonists and daring adventures!  I cannot wait to see what this author will write next!

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  20 Responses to “Conceit and Concealment – Abigail Reynolds”

  1.  

    Thanks for your review Meredith. I have read all of Abigail’s books apart from this one. I have a birthday coming up and this will be on the list.

  2.  

    What a great review Meredith. I read a few chapters as Abigail was posting and put it on my wish list but unfortunately I never got round to buying it. However it is now on my must buy list so I will be getting it soon.
    I have all her other books and ‘re read them regularly so I’m sure I will love this. Thanks for sharing.

  3.  

    Loved the review, Meredith. I am dismayed with myself for not having read it yet because Abigail Reynolds is usually an auto-buy. And I have not read any reviews online until yours today because I don’t like to be influenced overmuch when it comes to my truly favorite authors. But this sounds so wonderful. Now, I’m really really looking forward to reading it. I just bought a stack of books to support a charity event so I’m even ‘behinder’ than usual!!! :/

    Thanks so much, Meredith. And THANK YOU to Abigail Reynolds !!!!

  4.  

    I followed this as the first chapters were posted and then read it after it was published. Loved it.

  5.  

    I enjoyed the sample from Amazon. Like many others have read Ms Reynolds books since published. I just haven’t gotten this one yet. I loved your review.

    •  

      Thanks, Suzan! Isn’t it great to see all the amazing books Abigail has come up with?!? While I had read Austenseque books for a few years prior, Abigail’s books were the first Pride and Prejudice variations I encountered. And oh boy, there was no turning back! 😉

  6.  

    I loved reading this book. Thanks for featuring Abigail’s book here. It was one that kept my interest from beginning to end and it got 5 stars from me.

  7.  

    Alternative-history Austenesque! Intriguing idea! I enjoy a story with derring-do and intrigue. May have to try this one!

  8.  

    An excellent review, Meredith!! I absolutely **loved** this book. Abigail Reynolds has written many captivating variations over the years, but this one has definitely become my favorite!! It’s simply amazing!! 🙂

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    •  

      Thank you, my friend! So happy to hear you loved this one! It is so hard to choose a favorite!! Gah! This one may be in my top 5 faves, though! 😉 Thanks so much for commenting on my review!

  9.  

    Great review and reinforced my wish to read this.

  10.  

    What a brilliant idea for an alternative history! I look forward to reading it.

  11.  

    I must get around to reading this one! I was lucky enough to win a copy when Abigail did her launch tour earlier in the year. Like you, Meredith, Abigail’s were some of the first JAFF books I came across and I binged on all of the then published ones. I’ve since acquired all of the more recent ones as they came out and have many as both ebooks and audiobooks.

    When she posted the early chapters of this on Ausypten Variations, I was totally hooked from the outset. Indeed, I’ll never look at a bluebell wood in the same light again! It was a particularly good year for bluebells in our part of Yorkshire and I posted several photos on FB. One was at Fountains Abbey and Abigail was kind enough to comment that I’d combined elements from two of her books. Apparently she’s visited there on a trip to the UK in the past and the ruined abbey was the inspiration for a certain scene in Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections!

  12.  

    that is an interesting twist on history

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