Rating : ★ ★ ★
Thanks to NetGalley and Five Fathoms Press for providing me with an eARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Jane Austen meets Diana Wynne Jones in this delightful mashup of Sense and Sensibility and Howl’s Moving Castle.
Elinor Tregarth is the orphaned poor relation sent to live with her aunt and her dramatic and entitled cousin, Penelope Hathergill assisting her with her debut into society with a nervous dragon on her shoulder. Fed up with the abuse at the hand of her cousin she takes the dragon and all of her worldly possessions and strikes out on her own only to cross paths with Benedict Hawkins and his eccentric friend Cornelius Aubrey. In a twist of fate and the magic of the nervous dragon Sir Jessamyn, Elinor finds her way back into Hathergill Hall.
I was expecting something more akin to Sense and Sensibility and while the spirit of Jane Austen was there along with the name of the heroine, it felt a bit more like Howl’s Moving Castle in Fantasy Recency England. I do feel that some of the mannerisms and the focus on dragon droppings in the start of the story did read much younger for me. I started this book thinking it was going to be a bit more adult since it’s in the romance category on the website but it did read a bit more young adult in a way like there was a series of unfortunate events.
Still it was pretty entertaining even if it wasn’t what I was expecting or looking for. The characters do grab you in a way and take you along on this journey. If you’re looking for something a little more enchanting playful with Howl’s Moving Castle vibes, this is totally worth a read.