I was never into fantasy literature and I never had any fascination with dragons, goblins or any other type of creature, but I was completely captivated by the Jane Austen’s Dragons series by Maria Grace, and after reading the first 3 books, I was extremely excited to know that she would take this series into a Persuasion setting.
Persuasion is my second favorite Austen novel, and if you’ve read any of the first books in the series, you’ll know that Maria Grace’s dragons have the power of persuading humans, so I thought that bringing this feature into Persuasion would be extremely interesting and precisely my cup of tea.
My expectations for The Dragons of Kellynch were high, but Maria Grace was able to surpass them by taking this series into a whole different level. Unlike the first three books in the series, this one is not focused on a major dragon, but on minor dragons and Anne Elliot’s slow discovery of their existence.
The storyline in this book takse place before canon Persuasion and even if most events are seen from Anne’s point of view, making us privy to the Elliots life at Kellynch, we also have some chapters dedicated to Wentworth where we see him developing a relationship with Laconia, his dragon friend and one of my favorites so far.
Because this book is a prequel, we see both Wentworth and Anne’s life after their break up but before their reunion, and I found this very interesting because they are not yet the characters we see in Persuasion, they are growing to become those characters. Wentowrth is still trying to make a living in the navy and Anne is still under Lady Elliot’s wings at Kellynch. Not only do we see her grow in terms of dragon hearing but also as a character. We see her refusing Charles Musgrove, meeting Mr. Elliot for the first time, and acknowledging her father’s true nature. These are aspects we rarely see in Persuasion inspired books and I really liked to go through these life events with Anne.
I was amazed with how unexpectedly Maria Grace integrated some characters such as Lady Russel into this new narrative and even the persuasion element, which I was expecting to see, was constructed in an unexpected manner. Summing up, this book is pleasantly full of surprises.
The author brought the Elliots’s faults into this new setting in a very clever way because she kept them true to themselves but adapted their faults to a world ruled by dragons. However, what I loved the most in this story was accompanying Anne as she started hearing dragons. We had only seen a glimpse of this process with Lydia, but Anne’s path was much more detailed and fascinating.
Once more Maria Grace penned an engaging and fascinating story which I recommend to all who loved the first books in the series. The Dragons of Kellynch did not disappoint and is the perfect introduction to Kellynch: Dragon Persuasion.
You can find The Dragons of Kellynch at: