Patricia S. (Yankton, SD)
Moving deftly between three locations, two time periods,and several viewpoint characters, Linda Lafferty spins a tale of present characters haunted by the horrors of the distant past. Combining history,Jungian psychology, and modern technology, she creates thoroughly believable characters and a plot with startling and suspenseful twists. I was a bit disappointed in the conclusion which seemed a bit rushed and predictable. But all in all, a good read.
Mary S. (Pinson, AL)
The House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty
Once I started reading The House of Bathory it was hard to put down. My favorite genre is historical fiction based on factual characters or events; and Linda Lafferty's telling of the Blood Countess did not disappoint. This is such an engrossing story and Lafferty does a wonderful job of transporting the reader back in time. After reading this novel, I will definitely be checking out some of her other books.
Marjorie H. (Woodstock, GA)
A very predictable read. And certainly 'in' with the vampire/walking dead trend.
I think Ms Lafferty is an accomplished writer, but employs the 'Dan Brown' effect of ending every chapter with a cliffhanger. 'A far off scream carried in on a gust of wind, and then was swallowed in the silence of the castle.' I guess one word comes to mind - 'corny' - a real effort to be dramatic when the subject matter did have some meat in it. Perhaps I'm not the demographic for a book like this. I can't imagine recommending it to anyone.
Amy H. (Benbrook, TX)
Interesting but predictable
This was a fairly interesting read, since the novel was based on historical characters and events. Historical fiction/nonfiction is my favorite genre so I was excited to get this book started. Overall an interesting read, which seems to pick up steam and energy toward the end. My pet peeve: short chapters make the book "choppy", which upsets the flow of the novel and makes character development more difficult. I enjoyed the time period (1610). This book could have been much shorter than 500 pages.
Sandra H. (St. Cloud, MN)
A Confusing Gothic Novel
Moving from 2010 to 1610 and back in 123 short chapters with the two intertwining stories and two-dimensional flat characters, "House of Bathory" became a nightmare read for me.
Obviously the author did a great deal of research into the life of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who is remembered as the Blood Countess and gave us a fairly well-developed description of Slovakia during her lifetime but too much of that knowledge gets lost in the jumble of mixing two time periods, two stories and two sets of characters. The contemporary story is much the bigger loser. The characters are one-dimensional and the story stretches credulity.
The author had much to build on in order to create a rich, multilayered story, but unfortunately it never came together.
Alice R. (Alexandria, VA)
A Wonderful, Fascinating Read
When I came across House of Bathory I was intrigued. I learned from Wikipedia that the Countess of Bathory was infamous--"…the most prolific female serial killer in history"-- but I had never heard of her. After reading about who she was, and when and where she lived, I had to read this book. I was not disappointed.
Two stories are told: the fascinating historical story in Cachtice Castle in 1610 leading up to the Countess's arrest; and the second story, just as fascinating, that begins in 2010 Colorado. Together, these two stories are expertly told, and House of Bathory becomes quite an exciting, 'unputdownable' reading experience. Linda Lafferty's vivid characters greatly contributed. I found some brave, plucky, intuitive, resourceful, while others were depraved, deranged, despicable—all quite hard to forget.
At the beginning, there is a quote from C.G. Jung: "…Am I a combination of the lives of these ancestors and do I embody these lives again?..." As House of Bathory unfolded, I found myself returning to this quote again and again.
Iris F. (Delray Beach, FL)
House of Bathory
When I requested The Countess of Bathory I was unaware that the Countess was an actual historic figure. My first impression was that I had entered into a book dealing with supernatural characters which is a genre that doesn't appeal to me. However, I was almost immediately drawn into the story lines of 1610 and 2010. Each exceedingly short chapter packed a punch that found me unable to put the book down.
After reading this book, I was curious enough to research the Countess and discovered that the book is an accurate depiction of this historic individual and actual events. While I was thoroughly engrossed in the story of 1610 I found the modern story of 2010 far fetched and unrealistic.