Monday, February 23, 2009

Vlad: The Last Confession

Vlad: The Last Confession (C.C. Humphreys, 2008) won't be released in the U.S. for another week or two, but I bought a copy in Canada last October at the Surrey International Writers Conference, where Humphreys was one of the presenters. If you're ever at a conference where he's speaking, do go to his workshops--he's an actor as well as a writer, and his presentations are always lively and engaging. He's also at least as much of a research junkie as I am, but with a better travel and weaponry budget. (Hopefully one day I'll be so lucky and get to regale my audiences with, say, a firsthand description of the walls around Badajoz or what it's like to fire a Baker rifle or wield a French infantry officer's sabre.)

Anyway, the book. It's a novel of Dracula, but not a vampire story. Instead we meet the historical Vlad Dracula, at least an interpretation thereof based on the scanty facts available. And it's a page-turning epic adventure, albeit occasionally a stomach-turning one as well. I think I was happier without knowing so much about how to go about impaling one's enemies, for example. But I recommend it for anyone who likes their historical fiction with a lot of war and danger or who craves unusual settings.

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