Story Title: An Ever-Fixed Mark
Author Name: AMarguerite
Category: Pride & Prejudice
Content Rating: Explicit (R to NC-17)
Status: Primary story and 2 others in this series are completed; 3 stories are active WIPs
Length: Primary story in series is 190,537; Total Series Wordcount to date: 502,582 words
Story Summary: One would think that having the name of one’s soulmate appear on one’s wrist on one’s sixteenth birthday would make matrimony much less complicated. It mostly does not. And not at all for Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourne.
(A deconstruction of the “soulmate identifying mark” trope, using “Pride and Prejudice.”
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. I could’ve just hugged my kindle to my chest, rocking side to side, for all the delight I derived from reading it. I LOLed frequently, and would’ve killed for a RL friend who also loved the Jane Austen fandom so that I could’ve shared my favorite scenes!
I also love the structural composition of this series. For example, it is beautifully long while still being a very concise, tightly written narrative. That kind of balance is insanely hard for even the most popular, gifted authors (J.K. Rowling castigates herself periodically in interviews for that writing struggle) to achieve. This story has also got a fascinating plot which that concise writing style protects from long rabbit trails and overly detailed minutia. (I’m looking at you and your literary vomiting again, Tom Clancy!)
Furthermore, this author has clearly done a lot of research into the Regency era’s socio-political and cultural environment, and how all of that would impact a middle-class girl like Lizzy. Even the author’s sentence structure is pitch perfect for the time period, with longer sentences, more semicolons, and of course a vocabulary representative of what would now be labeled a “classical education,” but was then commonplace for a reasonably educated person.
But don’t read this for all of those reasons. Read it because it is Fun and utterly charming. You may find yourself hugging your tablet to your own chest, too.
In fact, as I am just now copying this story recommendation over from my AO3 bookmarks to my blog, I’ve been inspired to go re-read the entire fic. That’s going to put an end to my blog posting for today. Whoops.
My Only Critique: I will offer a few cautions, though. If you don’t enjoy particularly explicit relationships or scenes, be aware that the Dalliance With the Duke AU in this series may not be your cup of tea. It is deliberately, humorously written in the style of a Harlequin Romance Novel. And the author’s talent still shines through this semi-parody. But truthfully, I had difficulty with that pairing (in which a widowed Elizabeth ends up with the Duke of Wellington), both because of the explicit content and due to Lizzy’s changed character arc in Dalliance, as opposed to her character arc in the main series. As a result, I didn’t end up finishing Dalliance, though I was still left with quite a long series in which to eagerly immerse myself.
My only other caution is that there are slash pairings in the background of this series, due to the nature of those soulmarks. Those pairings are only referenced, though, and there are no slash scenes depicted, for those of you for whom that is a turn-off.