House of Bathory: Book summary and reviews of House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty

House of Bathory

by Linda Lafferty

House of Bathory
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Jan 2014
    486 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

In the early 1600s, Elizabeth Báthory, the infamous Blood Countess, ruled Cachtice Castle in the hinterlands of Slovakia. During bizarre nightly rites, she tortured and killed the young women she had taken on as servants. A devil, a demon, the terror of Royal Hungary - she bathed in their blood to preserve her own youth.

400 years later, echoes of the Countess's legendary brutality reach Aspen, Colorado. Betsy Path, a psychoanalyst of uncommon intuition, has a breakthrough with sullen teenager Daisy Hart. Together, they are haunted by the past, as they struggle to understand its imprint upon the present. Betsy and her troubled but perceptive patient learn the truth: the curse of the House of Bathory lives still and has the power to do evil even now.

The story, brimming with palace intrigue, memorable characters intimately realized, and a wealth of evocative detail, travels back and forth between the familiar, modern world and a seventeenth-century Eastern Europe brought startlingly to life.

Inspired by the actual crimes of Elizabeth Báthory, The House of Bathory is another thrilling historical fiction from Linda Lafferty (The Bloodletter's Daughter and The Drowning Guard). The novel carries readers along with suspense and the sweep of historical events both repellent and fascinating.

Inspired by the actual crimes of Elizabeth Báthory, The House of Bathory is another thrilling historical fiction from Linda Lafferty (The Bloodletter's Daughter and The Drowning Guard). The novel carries readers along with suspense and the sweep of historical events both repellent and fascinating.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

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Reader Reviews

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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.

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.

Mary Jane D. (Arlington Heights, IL)

House of Bathory
This is an excellent book for those interested in the legend of Dracula. The story is based on the historical record of the Bathory family from the 1600's in Slovakia and brought cleverly to present times. The characters are well developed and memorable. The castle setting is very descriptive and easy to imagine. It is not for the squeamish as descriptions of brutality are rather graphic. The interweaving of the past and present plots is expertly done and keeps you engrossed right to the very end of the book.

Mary S. (Bow, NH)

House of Bathory - a great movie
I was totally engrossed in this book. The author's construct of moving the story line back and forth from the past to the present was well done and only built up this reader's interest in what was going to happen next. The plot was well thought out and the characters were fascinating - everything from a Goth to a historian to an evil countess - and it worked! Learning about Jungian psychology was an added plus. If you need a page-turner to take you away, this is the book for you.

Doris K. (Angora, MN)

House of Bathory
This was a fascinating book. I was hesitant to read it when I realized the background of the Countess Bathory. However There were many other interesting persons brought into the book.it turned out to be suspenseful and hard to put down. I found myself reading late into the night to find out what would happen next,even though I had looked ahead and knew what happened to the countess.
It would make a wonderful discussion in a book club.
The author did a good job of tying in the 21st and the 17th centuries. Sometimes this can be confusing, but not in this case.
According to the author's bibliography she did research Countess Bathory so she was a real person. Some of the descriptions of her activities made you wonder.
Overall a good read.

Donna T. (Orlando, FL)

Thrilling
At first, I did not find the book to my liking. But as I moved through the first part I found myself rushing to find out what would happen next.The author deftly switches from 2010 to 1610, while keeping the reader totally focused on what is being read at the moment. Even though the plot felt a little "improbable" and the language a little "dumbed down", it did not deter my enjoyment and excitement as I moved into the evil world of the Bathory's. It would make a great Halloween read for a book club.

...19 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Linda Lafferty Author Biography

The daughter of a naval commander, Linda Lafferty attended fourteen different schools growing up, ultimately graduating from the University of Colorado with a master's degree and a PhD in education. Her peripatetic childhood nourished a lifelong love of travel, and she studied abroad in England, France, Mexico, and Spain. Her uncle introduced her to the sport of polo when she was just ten years old, and she enjoys playing to this day. She also competed on the Lancaster University Riding Team in England in stadium jumping, cross country, and dressage. A veteran school educator, she is the author of The Bloodletter's Daughter and The Drowning Guard. She lives in Colorado.

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