Jules Verne has not written a more sane and well-sustained story than this. The excellent descriptions of a wild region in Transylvania and the accounts of the homely ways and daily life of the shepherds and villagers give it an air of veracity not to be expected from this author. The mysterious castle is finely set among the cliffs in an almost inaccessible place. It has been the scene of tragedies, and now after having been long abandoned it is supposed to be the home of supernatural beings of diabolic power. After one desperate attempt to reach it the villagers are stricken with terror, and affairs are in a deplorable state when two travelers arrive. One of them, Count Franz, has reasons of his own for believing it to be the hiding place of a certain enemy of his. He sets out to ascertain, and the mystery of its magic powers is revealed by the fact that two men are using for their own purpose electric batteries and telephones. A tragic romance and the destiny of several individuals are complicated with the physical phenomena in a way that no one but the inventive and ingenious author would have thought of. The glimpses of life in a fascinating country too little known make the book worth reading.