Monday, May 18, 2020

Book Review | Blood Countess by Lana Popovic

Blood Countess is a historical YA horror novel by Lana Popović.

Blood Countess by Lana Popovic

A historical YA horror novel based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula

In 16th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Báthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancé, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her, too.

This is the kind of book you can't talk about without spoiling things so I'm going to keep this as short and vague as possible.

Why Did I Read Blood Countess?

The main reason I read Blood Countess is because it's a YA horror novel written by a woman horror author. I'm trying to support these authors and their work whenever I can.

Seeing "based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula" in the book description had me really intrigued. I didn't know much about Countess Elizabeth Báthory going into reading Blood Countess. This is probably a good thing because I didn't have any expectations. I certainly need to know more now, though.

The Strengths

Blood Countess sucked me in right away. I did not want to put it down. Lana Popović's writing is perfectly suited for writing such a romantic and brutal piece of historical fiction.

This is truly a horror story. I worry when heading into YA horror, and I think the gothic, romantic, historical kind has me at my most skeptical. I was not disappointed.

Even though this is the first book in a planned "Lady Slayers" series, Blood Countess can stand on its own. In fact, I have no guesses as to what the sequel and the rest of the series will be about, and that's a great thing.

The Weaknesses

I can see people giving up on this book too soon. The horror is slow to emerge, but it's well crafted.

Final Thoughts

I loved Blood Countess, and I'm so glad I took a chance when I ordered it. I can't wait to continue on with the next book in 2021. I missed out on reading her debut duology Wicked Like a Wildfire/Fierce Like a Firestorm. I will be hunting that series down as well.

5/5 stars


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  1. I sort of have a fascination about Bathory (go figure, add it to Lizzie Border and Jack the Ripper) so I really need to make time for this one. I read a great book about her a few years back which was adult- The Countess by Rebecca Jones. Maybe you should check it out.

  2. I love seeing YA horror, especially written by women, there just isn't enough out there. This sounds really interesting!

    1. I love finding them, too. I'm hoping to continue featuring them on a regular basis.

  3. I've been curious about this one. Glad to know the horror in it holds up and it's a good read. Guess I'll keep it on my 'want to read' list. ;D


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