Lady Cordelia #CBR5 Review #89: An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan

UnknownI would like to make it quite clear that while, yes, this is Pride and Prejudice fan fiction, it is not one of those pr0n versions that are only concerned with what happens to Darcy and Elizabeth after that first kiss as a married couple.  Rather, this is a retelling of the original story, but with Darcy as the central character.

After rolling my eyes a few times in the beginning, I actually started to rather enjoy this.  It is clearly inspired by the BBC Colin Firth mini-series, as opposed to the novel itself and at times feels like someone simply retelling that story.  Many of the lines of dialogue are repeated verbatim and there are entire sections without any additional detail, which made me wonder where the line is between fan fiction and outright plagiarism.  After a while however, I did come to appreciate the additional context that Aidan folds in – mentions of current events in England and the American colonies and a few random pieces of gossip about other notable personalities of the day.

I was rather surprised that by the end of this book, I had actually appreciated the more detailed sketch of Darcy’s character, including his friendship with Bingley, his struggle with his attraction to Elizabeth, and what the life of a gentleman actually involved.  The story ends just after the Netherfield ball, when the Bingleys and Darcy leave for London.   I admit that I did immediately go looking for the remainder of this trilogy, as I couldn’t imagine not finishing it.  I think this book would really only hold appeal for fans of the original novel and/or fans of the mini-series; though it would still make sense without those, the enjoyment is found in knowing where the author has added to the source.

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