A sensual, terrifying, incredibly accomplished first novel, this fascinating prequel to the classic and most popular horror novel of all time, Dracula, focuses on Dracula's great-nephew, who inherits the job of managing his great-uncle's estate...and his appetite. Written in diary form as Dracula is, this compulsively readable book has revelations that will shock and delight readers of the original. More erotic than Anne Rice, Kalogridis is a major new voice in vampire fiction. The first chilling tale in an exciting new trilogy is a rich and terrifying historical novel set fifty years before the opening of Bram Stoker's Dracula. At the castle of Prince Vlad Tsepesh, also known as Dracula, Vald's great-nephew Arkady is honored to care for his beloved though strange great-uncle...until he beings to realize what is expected of him in his new role. It seems that either he provides his great-uncle with unsuspecting victims to satisfy his needs, or Vlad will kill those Arkady loves. He is trapped into becoming party to murder and sadistic torture. And it is in his blood. When Arkady learns that his newborn son is being groomed one day to follow in his footsteps, he knows that he must fight Dracula, even if it means death.
Set in Transylvania, Kalogridis's smooth first novel launches a projected vampire trilogy that begins some 50 years before the action of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Like that classic work, this story is told through the diary entries of its major players. Upon the death of his father, Arkady Tsepesh is recalled from London with his pregnant wife to take over the family estate and care for his great-great-uncle-who happens to be the original Vlad the Impaler, now nearly 400 years old. As Vlad's power waned, he made a covenant with the villagers near his castle that he would spare their lives provided that they serve him faithfully. Arkady's father found himself bound to this service, as were all first males descended from Vlad. And now Arkady, too, must see that Vlad is well supplied with nourishing visitors lured from abroad. Kalogridis works hard to tighten suspense, dreams up new lore and here and there, especially in erotic passages, strives for fine writing of the sort that set apart Interview with the Vampire in the purple days of Anne Rice. But though the novel has many original touches, the diary format impedes the narrative momentum. Literary Guild; Doubleday Book Club; Science Fiction Book Club selections.
Wonderful look at the bloodlines of Vlad Tsepesh. I love how Jeanne Kalogridis takes historical figures and creates a masterpiece of fiction around them!
I love this series, it's fantastic