Having recently read "Being Mrs. Dracula", by new author Faith Marlow, I decided it was time to dust off my keyboard and write a new review.
Anyone who has ever read Bram Stoker's Dracula novel or even only seen one of the movies made off this classic vampire tale that set the bar for all the others to come, knows that his tale was based upon the true life of one Vlad III Dracula or Vlad Tepes (translated from Romanian as Vlad the Impaler), who was the third son (having two older half-brothers) of Vlad II Dracul (translated as Dragon). Vlad III was also a Prince of Wallachia, the area in Romania which he lived. In the Bram Stoker novel Count Dracula had three wives, all vampires at the time of the telling of this tale, but little is actually known about these women. This is where Faith Marlow's new novel comes into play.
In "Being Mrs. Dracula", Faith Marlow gives us serious insight into the lives of the three wives of Count Dracula (at least from her own point of view). Little is actually known about the real Vlad III's wives (except that he only had one at a time), so this new novel delivers completely new information on a literature level that no one (to my knowledge) has ever covered before. This is a very refreshing approach to an old theme and the most unique vampire novel I have read in years.
Each of these three wives writes in her own voice as she keeps a journal of her life after meeting Vlad III Dracula (Son of the Dragon), which means that initially we hear the tale only from the view of Dracula's first wife, Valeria Karajan-Dracula, a natural-born Romanian herself. Later, after much time has passed and we have a well-rounded view of this union between wife and blood-sucker, the second wife is introduced and then the third. Each has a unique story to tell and does so in her own inimitable fashion.
In most cases I prefer a book that is dialogue driven, but this one, the first novel penned by Faith Marlow, is more along the lines of narrator-driven, which caused me to approach reading it with a careful eye. Soon after beginning my reading I found I was enjoying the words penned by this neophyte author and hated having to put it down in order to get to bed. The next day I was back at it as soon as I could and within a few days I had the entire book finished, but wished there had still been more to read.
"Being Mrs. Dracula" is not only told from a unique perspective (the wives), but is, in my humble opinion, the best vampire novel since "Interview with the Vampire", by Ann Rice, which set the modern day standard for writing such novels. It also is the only novel I have ever read that captured the flavor of Bram Stoker's original and carried it forward with a truly interesting story line. Not only will you learn who these three women were that the most famed vampire of history chose to become his wives, but you will find yourself falling in love with them and the trials and conflicts each one faced as she found herself married to a man most considered at the time to be the cruelest man on the face of the Earth, only to discover there was a reason for his viciousness that most never knew.
Pick up a copy of "Being Mrs. Dracula" from Smashwords. You will be very glad you did.
If we're lucky someone in Hollywood will notice this book and decide to make a movie of it. Let's hope they remain true to the author's creativity.
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