Rated of 5
by Alice W. (Sacramento, CA) The Bloodletter's Daughter
Ottoman Empire, Bohemia, Hapsburg, Prague, Vienna, are all names and places that I have heard of, but really had no knowledge nor understanding of what and where they are. This book is a great, simplistic introduction to all of the above and is a fast read. At times, I found it a bit childish, but became so engrossed in the characters that I plunged ahead always very eager to get on with the plot. That the main characters are all real made this book fascinating even though a lot of creative license was used to cobble the story. So what? Will, I recommend it to my book club? No. I think they are probably not as thirsty as I was for the history of the Hapsburgs and their inbreeding. I would love to see another historical fiction with this same setting.
Rated of 5
by Lori L. (La Porte, IN) Bohemian Bodice Ripper
For lovers of historical fiction, The Bloodletter's Daughter provides a fascinating glimpse into life in the late 16th early 17th century Bohemia during the reign of the Hapsburg family. Alternating between the melancholy Emperor Rudolf, his mad eldest son Don Julius, and the ambitious brother of the Emperor, soldier Matthias, the author sets the stage for the story of Marketa Pichlerova, the intelligent daughter of the village barber surgeon. Due to her gender and beauty, it is assumed that Marketa will join her mother in business at their bathhouse, providing a good soak and "little something extra" to the local businessmen and travelers. Marketa rebels against this future, yearning to become a physician. I found that her ambition and insight somewhat stretched the bounds of credibility, for example, as she explains to her mother that someday science will explain the mysteries of illness, etc. It is unlikely that girls in her remote village, without the benefit of formal education, and under the sway of the Catholic Church would have much to say about science, let alone expressing views that would challenge the status quo in such a way. A little too much of a "bodice ripper" at times, this book did hold my attention and I wanted to see what happened next. I would give it 3.5 stars.
Rated of 5
by Charlene M. (Murrells Inlet, SC) The Bloodletter's Daughter
The true story of obsession, murder, royalty, illegitimacy, passion, and mystery. The Bloodletter's Daughter by Linda Lafferty is set in 1600's Prague and tells the story of Don Julius, illegitimate son of Emperor Rudolf II, the bloodletter, Zigmund Pichler, & the bloodletters daughter, Marketa who are commanded to cure Don Julius' obsession with the Book of Wonder. Don Julius' encounter with Marketa, who he believes is the women in the coded Book of Wonder, leads to Marketa's fascination with Don Julius. A dark, tragic story the reader will find both fascinating and repelling.
Rated of 5
by Carrie W. (Arcanum, OH) Blood Letter
I thourghly enjoyed this book, the building of the characters, how they all seemed independant of each other but relied heavily on one another. Each person had an entirely different view on each other and how they could use each other for their own advancement. Great Book, love the time period, and how the author described sience vs medicine vs religion.
Rated of 5
by Mary Lou C. (Shenandoah Junction, WV) Bloodletter's Daughter
Bloodletter's Daughter is based on a true historical event. It takes place in Bohemia in the early 1600s. The author obviously researched the period and event well. Her resulting tale is riveting. The characters are fascinating and well developed. I couldn't put this book down. It made my heart race! I enjoyed it so much, I'd read it again.
Rated of 5
by James G. (Warwick, NY) The promise of the title, cover art, and backcover copy were unfufilled.
The title The Bloodletter's Daughter and appropriate cover art immediately intrigued me, however, the backcover blurb promised so much that was undelivered. Prologues are usually ignored by readers. Readers want to cut to the chase, at least this reader does. Chapter one lacked the hook of a great opening. Stability plus inciting incident equals instability, followed by a struggle to resolve instability, and return to stability. That is the currently accepted literary standard for opening scenes. Today, that first introduction of the stability of the protagonist's world may be as short as two sentences. In chapter one, Lafferty's generalized weather report and endless backstory about a (literally) dirty old man playing with himself while ogling a naked teenage bathhouse girl is not my idea of an inciting incident and really put me off. Had I not agreed to review this book, I would have put it down here. Although Linda Lafferty is obviously talented I can not in good conscience recommend this book.
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