Something or other compelled me to get this book and give it a go. Perhaps it was the mention of Dracula. I loved Bram Stoker’s Dracula and I hoped Rhiannon Frater’s attempt at a book around this character would be great.

It wasn’t great, it was awesome.I enjoyed this story set in the 1800s. A gothic horror story that kept me glued and my phone battery at a constant brink of death (Kindle app on phone.)

Glynis is young lady from a respected English family. Her mother is Italian, her father British. Both of the parents characters are brilliantly described, which made the start of the book an utter joy for me to read. Glynis wants to be free of the social norms, she wants to be a woman respected as men are respected. She doesn’t want to be a weakling, opinionless female that her future husband has to support at any turn. All of the fuss around Glynis and tried to get her married off is what sets this story off to a rocking start. Guilt and inevitable sorrow of survivor(s) will hit you like a ton of bricks.

“You do not want to be a wanton woman. You just want to be a man.”
“Well I want to be a woman who lives her life as a man. With no constraints. Being able to do as I please. I do not understand why they can do as they wish and we cannot. Just because we have breasts…”
“And they have that–” May widened her eyes, leaning forward “- you know.. they have…”

There were some similarities to the original Dracula story, for example the existence of brides… I cannot recall Stoker’s book vividly as it has been a decade since I read it so am unable to draw accurate comparisons.

Once Count Dracula entered the story, things got a bit more rough and I can understand how females near and afar would cause an uproar. Yes, the story falls on touchy subject of abuse and rape a few times. Also death and torture. Then again, a lot of books do.

So… be warned now… If this is something you cannot bear to read, this book is not for you.

A thick fog rolled slowly down the street, dark and menacing as it undulated in great waves over the flagstones. I knew this could only mean one thing. The Master had arrived. I took a deep breath as my heart began to race. Black horses waded through the gloom drawing a carriage up to the front entrance of the hotel.

I was rather taken aback by my own feelings at the end of the book… We follow Glynis through the book learning to hate Dracula and for a reason… At some stage you can sense the subtle change and it makes you wonder… specially when Ignatius comes into the picture. And when Glynis pulls the ace out of her sleeve at the end of the book, I felt sad, as she did in her confusion and realization, as if I was in this strange position instead of her, the book character! And it shocked me… It also made me realize how easily women can fall into the traps of powerful men… Matters of the mind are tricky business… Gah, if you can at all, read the story, perhaps you’ll understand what i’m trying to say 🙂

Repulsed, I backed away and nearly slipped. The dead and the dying surrounded me as my new family danced to the strange music. It was then I realized the music was not music at all, but the fading heartbeats of the dying, their tortured moans, and the magnified symphony of the sounds of the night

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot…  I loved the way Rhiannon writes… It’s just fantastic! So totally tantalizing. I liked the subtle dignity, even though there are a lot of repulsive events happening. I liked Glynis for she was one strong-headed woman.  The book is lenghty enough to help bind the reader to the characters and help you truly live in the story.