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House of Bathory

by Linda Lafferty

House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty X
House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty
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  • Julia A. (New York, NY)
    A good premise gone slightly awry
    I was excited at the thought of "House of Bathory." The idea of weaving two story lines that happened 400 years apart, and adding in Jungian analysis and historical research appealed to my reading tastes. For the most part, Lafferty succeeds, but at times the shifting back and forth between plot lines gets a bit confusing. This did detract from my overall enjoyment. I liked the Betsy-Daisy (and its closely associated Grace line, that helps unify the other two story lines) better than the gruesome Countess of Bathory history.

    I commend Lafferty for her research, and for the creation of Daisy, my favorite among the characters. It was also personally exciting for me to read the scene set in my beloved Rubin Museum here in New York City. To find that in novel mainly set in Colorado and Slovakia was a surprise. The novel is long, perhaps overly so, but fans of psychological drama and of historical fiction will find that their interest is held. I certainly did, in spite of my distaste for the Countess.
  • Annie P. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
    House of Bathory
    A brutal 17th century countess in the 21st century? Linda Lafferty has captured how evil can transcend time in the House of Bathory. A fact-based historical novel that takes us from 1600 Slovakia to present-day Colorado to meet Betty Path and Daisy Hart. A novel of suspense, intrigue and a curse.

    I liked especially the historical side, although I thought Lafferty did a very good job of alternating between the times. Her characters were well-developed and she made the plot a real burner! It's difficult to believe that a human being could be so cruel to others, but history has proven it time and again. This would make a heck of a movie!
  • Elizabeth M. (Syracuse, NY)
    Vampire Mystery
    Prior to reading this book I had not heard of Countess Erzsebete Bathory, but when I mentioned the name to other people they had heard of this evil historical woman. This story alternates chapters between a modern and historical story. The historical story tells of how Countess Bathory, who lived in the 1600s in an area that is now Slovakia, tortured women she lured to the castle in order to bathe in their blood and the political factors that led to her not being publicly tried for those crimes. The modern story is a mystery that concerns a young woman named Daisy who becomes enmeshed in a mystery with her therapist, after her therapist's mother is kidnapped.
    The shorty chapters and quick pace of the story made this book, which is around 500 pages move very quickly. I enjoyed the insights that the character of the therapist brings to the story, with her examination of the world through a Jungian lens. I learned some things I did not know about Jung.
    On the negative side, the author's characterization of Daisy as a "Goth" felt like it was written by someone who didn't really know what the term meant and every time there was a tangent to explore Daisy's Gothness the story lagged.
    I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in historical fiction as well as anyone who wants a Vampire story that involves evil vampires, not sparkly sexy ones.
  • Martha D. (Poway, CA)
    An entertaining read
    If I could have given 4 1/2 stars I would. Taking half a star away for what seemed like a rushed ending.

    I have actually heard of Bathory before and found her story very interesting (boy, be a woman with power way back when and did they talk smack about you-wait, not much different than today).

    I loved the historical fiction take on Bathory story and I'm a fan of cliffhanger ending chapters so this book just moved right along for me. I'm not a real vampire/zombie fan but this kept me intrigued the whole way through.

    I'll be looking for more by Linda Lafferty very soon.
  • Patricia S. (Yankton, SD)
    Dracula Lives
    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.
  • 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.
  • Loretta F. (Fountain Inn, SC)
    Ancient Evil Begets Modern Evil
    I chose to read House of Bathory because I am of Hungarian descent, and wanted to learn more about Countess Erzsebet Bathory. What I learned was appalling: she tortured and killed over 600 females in an effort to preserve her youth. How can such horrific crimes go unpunished for so long? The author's historical research describes the culture of Europe in 1610, when the all-powerful royals had exclusive rights to their servants, and the common folk, the peasants had no rights at all.

    The book toggles back and forth between 1610 and 2010, depicting the evil that has returned to the House of Bathory. I found the events in 1610 much more interesting, because I like historical fiction. Although the author's use of vampirism in her 2010 chapters may appeal more to other readers, I found some of the characters and situations a bit unbelievable.

    I thought the book was well-written, and I liked the short chapters that Lafferty used to keep the reader hooked on her dual plots. However, I was disappointed in the abrupt way the book ended. After the horrific experiences the characters had gone through, I expected more explanation and more closure from the author.


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