“466pgs, 1628, An historical fiction about one of the most infamous female mass murderers in history, the Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Bathory. This is a story of an impressionable girl who follows the Blood Countess through all the horrid events, which lead to her rise and secure her place in history.”Jo Notary wrote this review Friday, September 28, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Great book so far!!!!”Julie W wrote this review Friday, May 28, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read Bram Stoker's Dracula as a teenager while visiting an aunt and uncle who lived in an old cottage in a hamlet in the east of England, complete with thatched roof, crooked floors and creaky stairs. Probably an unwise choice of bedtime reading, I succeeded in scaring myself half witless, and came to suspect the wizened old man living next door was not all that he seemed.
I read the eBook version of Dandelions in the Garden by Charlie Courtland on my smartphone, which perhaps goes to show that we do sometimes live and learn. But although it features Elizabeth Bathory, a descendant of Vlad Tepes, who was the inspiration for Stoker's Dracula, it is not a horror story in the traditional Dracula mould.
It's not without horrific scenes though, several characters meeting a grizzly end, and some aspects of the story might be considered quite shocking, in that behaviours we modern humans consider unacceptable are presented as quite normal. But, of course, attitudes in Europe four hundred years ago were somewhat different.
If I had to write a one-sentence review it would be this:
A cracking good tale full of all the ingredients which make a good story -- adversity, conflict, emotional highs and lows, love, sex, violence and a few surprises.
Historical purists might find the use of modern language off putting, but I found it made the characters into people I could believe were real. But more than that, I was able to put myself in their shoes. I'm not entirely sure that all of the views expressed by the narrator are consistent with the period, but I was able to overlook that because it brought an extra perspective to the tale. However, a few typographical and suchlike errors seem to have slipped through the editorial net, which bounced me out of the flow when I came upon them. I'd have been thinking about awarding 5 stars if it wasn't for that.
I don't know if all, or any, of the events depicted actually happened, but if you like a good story, well put together, then that will matter as little to you as it did to me.
There is a deeper level to it, in that it is an illustration of the truth of Lord Acton's words "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." But it's the characters, as portrayed through the eyes, and pen, of Amara Borbala, Countess Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting, that make this story come alive.
I still haven't figured out the relevance of the title of this one, but I'm certainly looking forward to reading the second book in the series.”