Publication Date: May 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 416pp
(Received for review from Sourcebooks)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
C.C. Humphreys on the WEB: website, blog, facebook
Book Trailer: This is an interview with C.C. Humphreys, that I found very interesting and I think you will too.
Synopsis (Barnes & Noble):
Dracula. A name of horror, depravity, and the darkest sensuality. Yet the real Dracula was just as alluring, just as terrifying, his tale not one of a monster but of a man... and a contradiction.
His tale is told by those who knew him best. The only woman he ever loved... and whom he had to sacrifice. His closest comrade... and traitor. And his priest, betraying the secrets of the confessional to reveal the mind of the man history would forever remember as The Impaler. This is the story of the man behind the legend... as it has never been told before.
The elegant prose of C.C. Humphreys shines in his latest novel, Vlad The Last Confession. Readers are led on a journey to find the true Dracula. History knows him as Vlad Dracula, Vlad Tepes, The Impaler or The Dragon. But who is the real man? C.C. Humphreys gives readers an inside look at whether Vlad Dracula was a man or a monster. Readers of Horror and Gothic novels will love this historically reconstructed story of Vlad Dracula, misunderstood prince? Ruthless killer? Vampire?
The story of Vlad Dracula is told threw the eyes of three people. His ex-mistress Ilona, his closest friend, who later betrayed him, Ion Tremblac and a hermit known as Vasile. The tale begins five years after Vlad's death when these three people are called to give witness to Vlad's character and deeds. He was known for the terror he caused in people, depravity and severe human cruelty. Through the voices and experiences of these three people we learn about the real man behind the legend of Dracula, who was a man with real hardships, problems, dreams and a real life.
When I first got a request to review Vlad The Last Confession I was very excited. Because, I have read tons of vampire stories and have read some things about the man that Bram Stoker patterned his Dracula after, but I really didn't know that much about him. This book is part historical fiction and part Gothic novel. Readers will find it dark and foreboding and when you think about the fact that it's historically accurate, that's scary!
Vlad Dracula was a considered ruthless, controlling and capable of just about anything. But somewhere along the way the stories about him became more fiction than anything else. Yes, he was blood thirsty, yes he killed a lot of people, but as his character in this book says, he killed them before they had the chance to kill him. Within his own country of Romania Vlad is considered a hero for the cause of Christian Europe, but outside of his homeland he has become synonymous with a monster. C.C. Humphreys does a fantastic job of bringing Vlad to life. Readers have a lot of preconceived notions where Dracula is concerned and Humphreys pretty much throws all that out and starts over. I loved the way he was able to show Vlad as something more than the monster readers are familiar with.
This book is not for the faint of heart. Vlad was not a fluffy and jolly character. Hie exploits are legendary and Humphreys doesn't leave a lot to speculation. The voice of Ion Tremblac is the most prevalent in the novel. He was with Vlad through thick and thin and eventually betrays him. This is a very powerful part of the story and despite knowing that Vlad was a killer readers will sympathize with his convictions and his situation. He was betrayed by someone he trusted. Not an easy thing for someone like this. Humphreys shows the motivations and the possible thoughts behind what Vlad did and who he did it too. This was a very commanding book, and I think readers who love horror and vampires and even historical fiction will love it. It is graphic, so be prepared for that. Not your best bed time reading... LOL!
Vlad The Last Confession is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples, it's very well written and grips the reader tightly.
Chris (C.C.) Humphreys is an actor, playwright, fight choreographer, and novelist. He has written seven historical fiction novels, including The French Executioner, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers; the Jack Absolute spy series (Thomas Dunne); and a trilogy for young adults, The Runestone Saga (Knopf). His latest are a new YA novel, The Hunt of the Unicorn (Knopf, March 2011) and A Place Called Armageddon (Hachette, June 2011). He lives on an island near Vancouver, Canada, with his wife, son, and a cat.