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Guest Post: Lari O’Dell, author of Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix

First, please let me apologize that this post was meant to be posted on Aug. 30, but due to some family emergencies and other issues, it didn’t get posted during the blog tour. I humbly apologize to Ms. O’Dell.

I want to welcome Ms. O’Dell to the blog today with her guest post about Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix. Please check out the book synopsis below.

Book Synopsis:

A phoenix brings them together. Will a curse keep them apart?

When the hauntingly beautiful song of a phoenix lures Elizabeth Bennet to the Netherfield gardens, she has a vision of an unknown gentleman. He whispers her name with such tenderness that she wonders if this man is her match. Unfortunately, her gift of prophecy has never been exactly reliable.

Mr. Darcy is a celebrated fire mage, the master of Pemberley, and the man from her vision. But he is not tender; he is haughty, proud, and high-handed. His insult of her during the Summer Solstice celebration makes her determined to dislike him in spite of her love for Dante, his phoenix familiar.

After Mr. Darcy is called away by his duties, Elizabeth’s magic runs wild, and it is only their reunion at Rosings that offers her any hope of controlling it. They are drawn together by their love of magical creatures and their affinity for fire. But Elizabeth soon has another vision about Mr. Darcy, one that may portend a grave danger to his life.

Can Darcy and Elizabeth overcome misunderstandings, curses, and even fate itself?

Please welcome Lari Ann O’Dell:

I’m excited to be back at Savvy Verse & Wit to talk about my new fantasy Pride & Prejudice variation, Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix.

The world of Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix is filled with a plethora of fay folk and magical creatures.

There are several magical creatures and fay folk that play an important part of the story. Of course there is Dante the phoenix, the titular character. But there is also a unicorn named Aurelia, several household elves, wood nymphs and water nymphs, a griffin, and many others.

In this variation, Pemberley is not only a grand estate in the north, but it also serves as the largest conservatory for magical creatures in England. Darcy was raised with magical creatures and fay folk, and has a deep appreciation for them that is not always shared by his peers. Part of what draws him to Elizabeth is her appreciation for magical creatures and her obvious bond with his companion Dante.

The phoenix is a symbol or rebirth, renewal, immortality, healing, and eternal fire. Darcy is a fire mage and so having a phoenix as a companion made perfect sense. Not all Darcy men have been fire mages, but Dante has been with the Darcy family since the time of William the Conqueror. Dante is reborn with the birth of each new master of Pemberley.

Dante serves as an extension of Darcy himself. He forges an early bond with Elizabeth, despite Darcy’s poor first impression and insult. Even Elizabeth acknowledges that a person bonded with such a magnificent creature cannot be all bad. Dante helps Elizabeth to see Darcy’s better attributes sooner than she normally does in Pride and Prejudice. He also serves as a healer, both physically and metaphorically, and a messenger. I have always loved Fawkes the phoenix from Harry Potter, but now Dante is my favorite fictional phoenix.

When selecting the other magical creatures I wanted to feature, there was some research involved. There are some creatures I mention just to flesh out the world and because I like them. But the others that served a greater function to the story, I wanted to use them in a way that is supported by lore.

For example, unicorns represent goodness and purity. In mythology, it was said that only people who were pure of heart can approach a unicorn. There is a scene in the book where Darcy helps deliver a unicorn foal, and Elizabeth names the baby. The unicorn later helps Elizabeth in a significant way. Darcy and Elizabeth are able to interact so closely with unicorns because despite their flaws, they are truly good people at heart.

As in the original novel, Elizabeth seeing Darcy at Pemberley gives her a new appreciation of his character. The griffin, which makes a small appearance in the second half of the book, is a symbol of strength and valor. It was also seen as a guardian and protector of secretly buried wealth or treasures. It was said to help ward off evil influences. It certainly plays an important role in the story.

The nymphs were fun to write because they were very much like human characters with a magical twist. There are four nymphs in the story, Nyxie, Nyla, Whitley, and Serafina. Fay folk famously do not lie. I liked having characters who were not afraid to tell Darcy and Elizabeth when they were being foolish. Darcy and Elizabeth did not always appreciate it, but the nymphs certainly helped them along their journey to finding their happy ending.

I hope you all enjoy reading about all of these magical creatures and more in Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix.

Thank you, Lari Ann, for stopping by the blog.

About the Author:

Lari Ann O’Dell first discovered her love of Pride & Prejudice when she was eighteen. After reading a Pride & Prejudice variation she found in a closing sale at a bookstore, she said, “This is what I want to do.” She published her first novel, Mr. Darcy’s Kiss, two years later.

Born and raised in Colorado, she attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Creative Writing. After graduating college, she wrote and published her second novel, Mr. Darcy’s Ship. Her third novel, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, is her first supernatural variation, and she is working on two more fantasy variations. She is now back at school and pursuing a degree in Nursing. She adores her three beautiful nephews, Hudson, Dean, and Calvin. She enjoys reading, singing, and writes whenever she can.

Comments

  1. This sounds like a really unique take on P&P. Thanks for sharing!

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