Pirates and Prejudice: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Kara Louise – A Review

From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder:

When I first heard about a novel that turned my beloved Fitzwilliam Darcy into a pirate, I was apprehensive. HOW could anyone believably transform that noble gentleman into scurrilous brigand? He was so proper, so refined, and orderly. Picturing him as a swashbuckler…well, I just couldn’t imagine it. Enter author Kara Louise and her novel Pirates and Prejudice. I shouldn’t be surprised that Louise was able to seriously sell me on the idea, considering I loved her earlier novel Darcy’s Voyage (another version of P&P at sea.) Her characterization and unique storyline had me hooked on this new and intriguing way of looking at one of the most iconic romantic heroes ever created.

Feeling deeply spurned after Elizabeth Bennet rejects his offer of marriage, lonely and forlorn, Fitzwilliam Darcy eschews his friends and family, preferring instead to hide away at the London docks where he drowns his disappointment in drink. There, he is mistaken for an escaped pirate Captain Lockerly and imprisoned. Even though he claims “disguise of every sort is my abhorrence,” he aids the local authorities and agrees to impersonate the notorious pirate to help capture him. What was once something he would have never imagined for himself, the pirate life now calls him into action. Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s Aunt and Uncle Gardiner cancel their vacation plans to tour The Lake District leaving Elizabeth open to sail to the Isle of Scilly with her father to see her ailing aunt. On their return voyage, however, they are set upon by pirates and rescued by Captain Smith. Imagine her surprise when she discovers that this is no ordinary Captain, but the ex-pirate impersonator Mr. Darcy himself! How will Darcy explain how he came to be a sea Captain? Will Elizabeth fall in love with this new and improved version of the Mr. Darcy she once so coldly rejected?

Pirates and Prejudice is first and foremost a fun variation of P&P. Darcy’s attempts to shed his educated, genteel upbringing is at times hilarious. The scenes where he tried to make his speech sound coarse and unrefined brought tears to my eyes. Over the course of the novel, he evolves into an adventurous, suave pirate, the likes of Errol Flynn in Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk. Though Darcy’s path to inner transformation happens differently than Austen would have imagined it, yet it still happens. Pirating offers him the time he needs to think about Elizabeth’s rebuff and his former feelings, and it also offers readers the opportunity to take this journey with him.

For as much as I’ve said about the pirating elements of this novel, Pirates and Prejudice is also a wonderful romance filled with twists and turns. Due to Darcy needing to disguise his true identity, his reintroduction to Elizabeth is immediately slated for trouble. He knows that his false identity (when it is finally revealed) has the ability to tear them apart all over again. Darcy’s struggle with doing right for his country, while trying to do right by his heart is excellently written. Louise accurately depicts his struggle and inner war.

In the end, Pirates and Prejudice gives us a fabulously heroic Darcy, action-packed sword fights, damsels in distress, and a heartwarming romance sure to please each and every reader. While the premise seems outlandish, I beg you to give it a shot. Louise is a writer with a genuine talent that will surely draw you into this story.

5 out of 5 Stars


We purchased a copy of the book for our own enjoyment.  Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image courtesy of Heartworks Publications © 2013; text Kimberly Denny-Ryder © 2014, austenprose.com

19 thoughts on “Pirates and Prejudice: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Kara Louise – A Review

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  1. Kim, quick on the heels of Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner, you have read yet another P&P farce/parody/variation! Your husband must be amused with the continual laughter that has been rising from behind your book/NOOK. Pirates and Prejudice sounds outrageously enchanting. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent review for an outstanding book. I so thoroughly enjoyed it. Favorite part? When Darcy and Elizabeth swung from one boat to the other. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve read several variations by Kara Louise that I liked but I wasn’t fond of this one. I require that a variation ring true to their characterizations in P&P. In this novel Darcy and Elizabeth just didn’t ring true for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A great review of a great book. This is one of my favorite variations. I read this several months ago and have been thinking it is time to reread it. I really enjoyed the story being so focused on Darcy and how he changes and really seems to enjoy the change.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I too found your review so compelling I ordered the book even though initially, the title, subject, and cover, disinclined me from wanting to read it! But after the first few pages I quickly fell in love with the story and this very heroic and dreamy Darcy, and was thoroughly enchanted with it! She does create a very romantic Darcy and relationship with Elizabeth, so even if they aren’t quite true to the originals, her story is wonderfully satisfying! Thank you for the recommendation!


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