5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the Impaler as a Young Man
By Robert Tavis on May 17, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Not being a big fan of vampires, zombies or werewolves I didn’t know what to expect from the first two volumes of the Dracula saga by Victor Foia. I knew a little about Vlad the Impaler from history and by all accounts he wasn’t a nice guy. Boy, was I surprised: no vampires, zombies or werewolves and Vlad, at least the young teenage version portrayed in these two books, was a decent, idealistic young man who had a destiny to follow and a somewhat overbearing, but fair, father to kowtow to.
I don’t want to get into the story per se for that is something the reader will have to experience for themselves but I will say that the scenarios developed are intriguing and a wealth of historic detail has been provided on the mixed cultures and languages of those who either fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire or who were maligned against them. Lots of political backstabbing and shifting alliances with Vlad trying desperately to follow his destiny while proving himself a man. A coming of age story amidst the backdrop of one of the most dynamic periods in European and Middle Eastern history. Vlad stumbles frequently in his naivete and manages to find himself in several compromised and dangerous situations. Fortunately, there is some underlying propensity for his destiny to prevail and Vlad slowly starts to mature in his shortcomings while trying to maintain his noble birthright and do what he considers to be right from his youthful perspective.
It will be interesting to see in the subsequent novels (I believe the third installment is being released at the time of this writing) how this starry-eyed young man transforms into something more sinister as he ages. While I am sure a lot of myth about Vlad was created by his enemies to put him in the worst possible light, one does not get the appendage of “Impaler,” added to their name for nothing. I think Victor Foia has created a really good drama with solid character development and coupled with the historic aspects makes a compelling read for just about anyone.