Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Tale of the Vampire Bride by Rhiannon Frater

By now, you should all know that I love vampire tales more than any other type of horror novel and also, that Rhiannon Frater is one of my all time favourite authors. So it pretty much stands to reason that this novel is going to be right up my street... and it is! I normally write my own description of the plot of the novel I am reviewing but after reading the introduction to this wonderful tale by Rhiannon herself, I thought I should simply copy her words as she sets up the story very eloquently and gives an insight into her mind as she prepared this story.
"In celebration of the new covers for the Vampire Bride Series and the interior overhaul of the trade paperback, I decided to share a bit about the back story of the series and the epic battle between the heroine, Lady Glynis, and the villain, Vlad Dracula.
The Tale of the Vampire Bride was born in a very vivid dream. Encapsulated in the mind of Lady Glynis Wright, I bore witness with breathless anticipation of the events of the first chapter of this novel while they unfolded, I dreaded where the carriage would carry the family from England and when it rolled into the courtyard of a formidable, yet crumbling castle in the Carpathian Mountains, my fears were confirmed. I awakened with the green eyes of Count Vlad Dracula searing into my soul.
Immediately I knew I had to write the tale of the fourth Bride of Dracula. It didn't take long for me to fall utterly in love with Glynis, her world and her struggle to free herself from the most villainous and evil vampire of all time.
The challenges of writing a novel that takes place in the 1820's were difficult enough, but capturing the personality of a legendary character from one of the greatest books in literature, Bram Stoker's Dracula, was incredibly daunting.Stoker's novel is one of my favorites of all time, but I still felt I truly did not understand the vampire. Since Count Dracula is only seen through the eyes of his enemies in the novel, I decided to delve deeper and read about the Romanian hero, Vlad Tepes. I immersed myself in the tales of Vlad the Impaler, struggling to understand how a man could be so cruel, so violent, yet so revered by his people. Slowly I began to see a pattern in his actions, his strict adherence to his own moral code of what was right or wrong. I remember reading one terrible story about him killing a woman for not properly mending her husband's clothing and finally grasping the key component to the personality of Count Dracula. His absolutely unyielding viewpoint on how the world should operate and his role in ruling it made him the perfect, terrible villain in Glynis's life.
Lady Glynis is a rebel. She chaffs against society and all its rules. Though she is still an aristocrat through and through, she defies the strict moral codes of her time. That she should become the Bride of Dracula is not only ironic, but sets up an adversarial relationship between the two that is sometimes difficult to witness. The word "bride" in the title of this book does not imply the happily-in-love woman on  the day of her wedding, but the designation of a female vampire created by a male vampire. Glynis's beginnings as Dracula's Bride are not born out of love but violence and blood. Glynis may be the Bride of Dracula, but he is her tormentor, her abuser, and her nemesis. This dichotomy sets the stage for their battle for control of Glynis's life.
Without a doubt, Lady Glynis is our heroine and Vlad Dracula is our villain. Yet there are many more characters in this epic tale that will choose sides and impact the tale of the vampire bride named Glynis.
I hope you enjoy this first volume in her story and the many to follow."
I certainly did enjoy this novel and I'm currently reading volume 2 - The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride, whilst eagerly awaiting volume 3 - The Lament of the Vampire Bride. This is a hefty tome, running to just over 600 pages. It is a real door-stopper of a book. I easily fell in love with Lady Glynis Wright, although her habit of stomping her feet when things don't go her way did become irritating after a while. Other than that one minor point I couldn't find anything to complain about or criticise story-wise. However, proofreading was a bit dodgy with a few misspelt words and far too many words that had been hyphenated unnecessarily. Clearly something that had not been picked up on when the book changed to a different format. That is not Rhiannon's fault but it should have been picked up by a competent proofreader.
I bought the paperback version of the book for £10.42 from Amazon. It is also available in Kindle format for £1.84. I enjoyed it immensely and I'll happily give it a 9 out of 10 rating.

16 comments:

  1. Certainly sounds right up your street Bryan. Shame about the proof-reading aspect, it tends to break the flow and 'jolt' somewhat, thanks for the review. 2nd edition fix methinks?

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    1. I studied as a proofreader, Adam, so whenever I see a spelling mistake or bad grammar it jumps out at me. Even so, it was still a damned good read.

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  2. Now that was a description Bryan, very enticing!

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    1. Rhiannon said it all far better than I could, Fran.

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  3. I find it interesting that Vladd Tepes is considered a national hero in his own country. And because of the literature styling's of Mr Stoker et al he has become a villain in our culture. That takes nothing from this book I am sure or indeed her research. But it is interesting none the less. I am very glad you enjoyed the book, but Vampire literature is not my bag. "Forced " to read Interview with a vampire by an ex girlfriend I never really got the Genre. Still each to there own and if you enjoyed it that's fantastic.

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    1. You have to understand Vlad Tepes "only" shares his name with Dracula (and place and what not :P). He fought the Turks that were pillaging, plundering and taking people into slavery. They are probably the most common villains in our folk tales, as well. So anyone working against them is instantly a hero. Dracula, on the other hand, is a vampire and that's a whole other story. :P
      I don't like modern vampires, but I really like the idea of Stoker's Dracula.

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    2. That's an interesting point you make about Vlad Tepes, Clint. I thought that Mathyoo provided an excellent reason for why he is so revered by his fellow countrymen. Rhiannon herself picked up on this point. Both Bram Stoker and Rhiannon Frater are basing a fictional vampire on a real life person. Once again, Mathyoo summed it up brilliantly by stating "Dracula, on the other hand is a vampire and that's a whole other story.
      My love affair with vampires started at the same time as my love affair with zombies began - the late 1970's. I absolutely adored Rhiannon's novel but I must admit, I preferred her "Pretty When She Dies" trilogy. I have nothing against vampire stories set in the past, it's just that I like contemporary vampires even more.

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  4. Yet another vampire novel I won't be buying despite the author's excellent credentials; as always your reviews sounds fair, but I too hate typos and grammatical errors
    in a book.
    I'm suprised that you haven't found sufficient inspiration from the many Vampire novels you read to put a table-top vampire scenario together.

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    1. Thanks, Joe. Believe me, I would like nothing more than to play a skirmish game, or better yet, a whole campaign featuring vampires. I have many ideas for a Vampirella campaign but I have yet to find a suitable game system. The THW rules are fine for zombies but not really up to scratch for vampires. GURPS is brilliant and I've already got Vampirella created using the GURPS 4th edition rules. I even got to play Vampirella in a GURPS Supers campaign I ran in the early 2000's. Indeed, that was the last campaign I ran before my gaming group split up. A vampire campaign is top of my wish list of games I want to play.

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    2. Might I suggest "Fear and Faith" from Ganesha Games, the horror version of the popular "Song of Blades and Heroes" fantasy rules? I've got this (and the "Kooky Teenage Monster Hunters" supplement) and I think it would suit your needs very well indeed.

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    3. Thanks, Hugh. I'm not familiar with this but I shall indeed check it out.

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  5. I'm slow reading lately but I shall certainly add it to the list.

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    1. Nice one, Simon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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  6. Sounds like a good read Bryan.
    I notice your interest in Dracula, with this in mind I urge you to read Dracula:Undead by Dacre Stoker. Yes a relative of Bram. I already told you about how I had become jaded with vampire literature, well this is a return to the classic stuff.

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    1. I must admit that i have never heard of that novel, Bob, but I shall certainly seek it out. Thanks for the heads up.

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  7. Did you know that you can shorten your long links with Shortest and get $$$$ from every click on your shortened urls.

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