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Friday, 17 June 2016

A Change of Legacies – A Pride & Prejudice Continuation by Sophie Turner - My Review

A while ago, Sophie Turner dropped in with a guest post relating to treatment of some of the minor characters in her book 'A Change of Legacies'. You can read the guest post here. I've been meaning to share my review of the book with you and that's what I'm bringing you today.

The book is the second in a series of sequels to 'Pride and Prejudice'. Here's the blurb:

Book cover: A Change of Legacies by Sophie Turner
Book Two of the Constant Love Series

The preparations for Elizabeth’s birth and the beginning of Georgiana’s married life do not go as smoothly as either of them would wish, and they must each consider an alternate legacy for Pemberley, as they encounter opposite sides of the same “what if?”

Meanwhile, for the first time, Mary Bennet finds herself romantically interested in a man, but will her own character and his family get in her way?

A story of love and family; the sequel to A Constant Love. 

This is book 2 in the ‘Constant Love’ series. The first book in the series, ‘A Constant Love’, is a sequel to Jane Austen’s ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and ‘A Change of Legacies’ picks up not long after the end of the previous book. Since this book is a sequel, there may be some spoilers for the first book of the series, but I have tried to keep things as spoiler free as possible. You can see my review of the first book here.

In book 1 we saw more of Kitty and Georgiana, as those two ladies were launched into society by the new Mrs Darcy. I was particularly keen to catch up with Kitty, because she was just lovely. I was less fond of Georgiana and the first part of ‘A Change of Legacies’ particularly focuses on her. Since this is a family saga-type story, I was expecting to follow the various characters through the next stages of their lives and instead this book took a different turn. Instead of presenting just the events we get some speculation on what could have happened if past events had unfolded differently. Georgiana is happy in her life, but she has begun to have dreams featuring George Wickham; specifically, she has recurring nightmares that instead of confessing her elopement plan to her brother while she was at Ramsgate, instead she allowed Wickham to convince her to elope. We all know from ‘Pride & Prejudice that Wickham’s chief object was unquestionably Georgiana’s fortune and so, once the knot is tied he would have no need to be kind to her - in Georgiana’s dreams, he is not kind to her at all – she is merely a captive, held while Wickham tries to negotiate for her dowry. This alternate dream storyline provides an interesting reminder of the rights of women in the period (i.e. very limited). Personally, I think that if Wickham had succeeded in eloping with Georgiana he’d have been careful to keep the charm up, show her off in public and try and force Darcy to accept him through gritted teeth as a brother and an equal, but this is Georgiana’s subconscious at play, not mine!

Although this is generally a saga-style story and therefore not filled with overly-dramatic events, the dream events are quite dramatic and these, coupled with another circumstance (I’m trying not to spoil anything here, hence the vagueness!) led me to be concerned enough about the fate of one of the characters that I had to peep ahead to check that the book wouldn’t be taking a sinister turn! Georgiana confides in Elizabeth of the dreams, resulting in Elizabeth having dreams of her own where she imagines the difference a successful elopement for Georgiana might have had on her past with Darcy.

By this time, Georgiana has joined the family at Pemberley. The Bingleys are staying with the Darcys while the former’s new manor house is being constructed. It’s quite a fair size house party, often including further sisters, which gives us a chance to catch up with them, and see how far they have come. Unfortunately, we don’t get a great deal of Kitty time (or Catherine, as she now prefers to be known). However, we get to see Mary, and how she is changing. Through the influence of a family connection of Georgiana’s, Mary comes to see herself afresh, and it’s a somewhat painful experience:
“His idea of being a Christian is in thinking himself more pious than anyone else, and entirely without sin. There is no kindness and no generosity in his Christianity, and certainly no forgiveness; he shall cast the first stone, every time.” 
His words cut through Mary painfully, for she recognised in them the way she had thought of herself all these years.
Poor Mary! But although it’s unpleasant to look at yourself and find something wanting, realising that is an important step in changing and Mary continues to become a more pleasant companion. It’s good to see her come into flower.

My favourite characters are always Darcy and Elizabeth, and we get some time with them here. There are some lovely interchanges between them:
“Fitzwilliam Darcy, sometimes I regret that I taught you to teaze so well,” she said. 
“You could not help it, even if you tried. Someone who is by nature so good at teasing must necessarily teach those close to her, so long as they are receptive to the teaching.”
If you like a saga-style story and enjoyed the first book in the series I should think you’d enjoy this read too. At the end of the previous book there were some story threads which hadn’t been resolved, but this is not the case with this book so there aren’t many leads on where the story will head in the next instalment, but when the time comes I’ll be interested to see where Sophie Turner will take her characters next. I’d rate this as a 4 star read.

4 star read

*I was provided with an e-book of this story by the author for my honest review.

12 comments:

  1. Oh interesting about taking the characters through a frightful 'what could have been' through the dream sequences. Poor Mary, but glad it helped her grow.

    Haha! Whimsical quote. I need to read this one eventually.

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    1. I really wasn't expecting the dream sequences, Sophia. I was afraid for a little while that the author was going to go all 'Dallas-Patrick-Duffy-in-the-shower' on us and for the previous book to have all been a dream!

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  2. I love Sophie Tuner's series. I remember reading this first as a WIP and I just couldn't wait each week to read the next chapter. To me. Sophie creates a sequel that really captures the tone and feel of Austen's story and the addition of her supporting characters, such as the dashing Matthew Stanton, really round out the series in a wonderful way. I also loved the dream sequences and the result of Darcy and Elizabeth's union. I am all anticipation for the next book in this series!

    Lovely review and great job, Ceri!

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    1. Hi Claudine! I agree with you, Matthew Stanton really is dashing. I am looking forward to reading book three too :)

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  3. Carole in Canada19 June 2016 at 00:32

    I too love this series and so looking forward to her next book in it. There is such a depth to story and like you, I loved Kitty in the first book and her development and now Mary had a rather difficult eye-opener on herself.

    The dream sequences certainly added a bit of angst to the story as at first you were not aware that Georgiana was dreaming. This allowed for their 'personal' fears to be viewed in a unique way.

    You did a great job not putting spoilers in! Enjoyed your review!

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    1. Carole, I hear that there will be more Kitty time in the next book!

      Thank you so much for commenting that I managed to keep spoilers out, because I tried so hard! It's really difficult to keep spoilers for book one out of a review of book two and the worry I had about the character that made me skip ahead was prompted by something specific that I decided was too spoilery to mention, so thank you for noticing my efforts to keep things spoiler-free!

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  4. Haven't read this series-where have I been?!
    Must say,it sounds very intriguing.Great review!

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    1. Thanks Mary. Don't worry, there is lots of time to catch up with this series - 7 books are planned and there are only 2 to catch up on so far :)

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  5. I really have to read this series!

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    1. Hi Anna, thanks for commenting. I haven't read many sequels to Pride & Prejudice so it's good to read ones like this, which have the time to flesh out all the characters over a series of books. I hope you enjoy the series when you come to read it.

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  6. I agree you did a great job keeping the spoilers out! It's going to become harder and harder for all of us as the series goes on, I fear.

    Kitty didn't get as much "screen time" as I would have ideally liked -- the book was running so long! But I have some twists planned for her in the third and later books that I don't think anyone is expecting.

    As for loose ends, the biggest one is the date, that by the end of Legacies, we are coming into 1816, which was known as the "year without a summer." And there'll be a new romance that I think will also come as a surprise to readers. That's all I'll say about book 3 at this point!

    Glad to see some new readers interested in the series, and that those who have read it are still excited for book 3 -- I'm working on it!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Sophie! I didn't know that 1816 was known as the year without a summer (and for those of you who are interested, the temperature was lower than usual due to volcanic activity the year before - the temperature led to food shortages in 1816). I'm interested to see what impact this has on the story, and also the twists. Plus a new romance too! Looking forward to reading the next instalment!

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