I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Tale of the Vampire Bride by Rhiannon Frater
Genres: Gothic Horror
Source: the author
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Set in the 1820s, The Tale of the Vampire Bride is sure to thrill fans of vampires of literary past with its lush, gothic atmosphere and terrifying spectacle.
All Lady Glynis Wright ever wanted was the freedom to live life as she pleased, despite her aristocratic parents' wishes for her to marry into wealth. But her fate is far more terrible than an arranged marriage when her family becomes prisoners to one of the most fearsome and powerful vampires of all time, Count Vlad Dracula.
Imprisoned in the decrepit castle in the Carpathian Mountains, Glynis’s new life as a Bride of Dracula is filled with bloody feasts, cruel beatings, and sexual violence. There is no hope for escape. Vlad Dracula has elaborate plans to use her familial connections in England and she has become his favored pawn. Even more terrible is the bond of blood between them that keeps Glynis tethered to his side despite her deep hatred of him.
It’s only when Vlad Dracula takes Glynis to the picturesque city of Buda on the Danube River and she meets a mysterious vampire in the darkened city streets, does she dare hope to find love and freedom.
This was my first real experience with audio books. I’ve listened to kids books before, while on a road trip, but this was something else entirely. I learned one thing: I have no time for audio books. I don’t have a long commute to work, and there’s far too much screaming when kids are around for me to even attempt listening to it while they’re home (assuming that the subject matter wasn’t too mature for them… which it was). If I wait until they’re in bed, then listening to someone’s soothing voice just puts me to sleep. It didn’t help that every time I paused it, it would jump ahead to some future page. What a pain! If I had the time, and a better way to listen to it in a portable format with earphones, it would have been ideal.
All of that aside, I still really enjoyed the book! Rhiannon Frater is one of the most versatile authors I have ever read, being able to seamlessly move between different writing styles. This book falls into the gothic horror genre, giving us a retelling of the Dracula story. Instead of being from Dracula’s POV, and instead of introducing Mina, we are given Glynis, a young girl from England who catches Vlad’s eye.
While written in the same gothic style as Dracula, Rhiannon brings her own flair to the table. Glynis is a fierce woman, taking control of the story with both fists. Be prepared: there is more sexual passion in this version of the story, over Stoker’s subdued sexuality. Readers are more prepared for it these days, and I was so glad for the extra layer to the story. Vampires have always had a certain sex appeal, luring women (and men) into willingly giving up their life’s blood, and even their very lives. It seemed fitting to have it more thoroughly described. I am excited to read the next book, The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride.
As far as audio books go, while I don’t have a lot to compare it to, I enjoyed it. The narrator did a good job with changing her voice enough for the dialogue so you know who’s talking, and her pace wasn’t too fast or too slow. She spoke clearly and had a deep, smoky voice. Overall, it was pleasing to listen to. I would recommend it, for sure. And please, if you have any suggestions for how to properly listen to an audiobook, I clearly need some assistance. 😉