Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hidden will of the Dragon by Charlie Courtland

Article first published as Book Review: Hidden Will of the Dragon by Charlie Courtland on Blogcritics.

As Lady Amara's illness continues to worsen, the shortness of time drives her to finish the ledger she has promised Count Drugeth. He has only recently sought her out in in effort to know more about his family and the history that plagues them. Only now as she looks back, writing and reflecting on her life as the ladies maid and confident of Countess Bathory, does the time seem right to set to paper the truth of what really occurred, both the joys and the horror. History would remember Countess Bathory as the Blood Countess and one of the first women serial killers in written history, Amara would remember her as a friend.

In Hidden will of the Dragon, Charlie Courtland takes you back to the late 15th and early 16th century where women were unable to inherit and were traded in marriage in order to improve the coffers or standing of her family. Marriages were set up as business propositions and women had no choice in the matter. The same is true for Elizabeth Bathory, and because her husband is a soldier she is sent into isolation in the Hungarian countryside to reside in Cathcice.

The descriptions of the day as well as the characters pull you in and you feel the hopelessness and despair, almost as though you were there in that time and place.

Lady Amara, her friend and companion is with her through everything, a constant in her life that is so rare. I was initially fooled by Amara, thinking her to be that friend and confidant that would be the strength to deal with Elizabeth’s demons. I was disappointed to find that Amara not only had her own demons but that she was pulled into some of Elizabeth’s madness as well.

Charlie Courtland has taken a time and event in history and put a story to it that would rival the actual events. She takes the reported facts as well as many of the rumors of the day and spins them into a story so believable that it could be the true events as they transpired.

This story is not for the weak of heart as there is much madness and despair. Be prepared to be sucked into the story and become a part of it. You will see the blood spatters and will feel the actual weight of the horror as it unfolds.

I would recommend this book with the understanding that it is not lighthearted reading. I believe it would be great for a book club or a reading group. There is a great deal of information that would be interesting to discuss.

Rating 5/5

This book was received as a free copy from the Author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.
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Steph said...

I was just going to my tweep's page to tell her about this review and I realized that this is her book!

STopped on the hop and decided to follow. Come on byFangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
Twitter: @fangswandsfairy

Steph said...

AnFangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
Twitter: @fangswandsfairy
d, I love this background - I want to upholster something with it!

Julie P said...

Thanks for hopping by my blog earlier. I love your story on your About Me page.....

Have a wonderful week!

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

5/5? might have to check this one out! nice reveiw :)
thanks for stopping by my blog! i'm following you back now :)

Kelly said...

Thank you for visiting my blog :) This book looks pretty interesting, and you gave it a 5 of 5, so it must be good ;) Loving you blog and now following!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Just hopping by. This book sounds interesting and you must have really enjoyed it. I am looking for THAT book. I'm not being moved lately. Or not moved enough, I should say.

Elizabeth said...

First-time visitor....interesting site.

Just hopping by....

Stop by my blog if you get a chance for reviews on I'd Know you Anywhere by Laura Lippman, Saving Cee Cee Honeycut by Beth Hoffman, Room by Emma Donoghue, and many others.

Happy Hopping, Everyone....hop on over to my blog to see who my favorite blogs are.

TheBookGirl said...

Very interesting book, and a great, thorough review...thanks for the heads up on the violence...I tend to stay away from serial killer plots, but this one sounds like the historical aspect is really the focus of the book.

Jennifer said...

Your review is awesome. I just love this book. Charlie did an excellent job at getting the characters and environments to jump out of the pages. It's one of the best stories I've read lately. She's an author to keep track of...I hope to see many more works by her grace the shelves/internet.

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