It’s not the first book by C.C. Humphreys on which I placed my claw. Yet ‘Vlad: The Last Confession’ (ISBN 978-1-4091-0330-1; „Orion“ 2009; 446p.) is the strongest one. And while it was hard to dig into it at first, later it brought me a lot of delight and went smoothly until the very end. That is, if we don’t count the parts morally hard to read, for me, the one who admires Vlad The Impaler.
„ ‘I got careless,’ Ion replied. ‘I forgot that a man’s not dead until he’s dead.’ „ 169p.
Vlad Dracula the Impaler probably everyone knows as vampire Dracula from Transylvania, all thanks to Bram Stoker. Yet Humphreys was not up to make this man a supernatural once again, as many times already done. In the end his actions spoke for him and whole that bat-thing wasn’t even necessary. We all understand, I believe, why stories of him were so popular in all times, for as Humphrey himself told – people love violence and sex, and these stories have plenty of both. Back then – it was in pamphlets. Now – we got internet. Yet to separate the truth from nonsense, from wild fantasies and from tales of his enemies is a hard work and I thank C.C. Humphreys for doing amazing job here.
It’s a historical novel, telling a story from perspectives of those who were close to Vlad Dracula, those who are there to confess. Story leads us through life of Prince of Wallachia and his struggle against usurpations, traitors, criminals, differences between people – boyars with too much power, and most importantly – against a threat Ottoman brought for whole world. To this very day we are left with the question – who was this man? Dracula – the son of the Devil, cruel tyrant? Or Dracula – the son of the Dragon, the symbol of justice? This story will tell us about his teen years, his love, his will to act instead of passive sitting and waiting for somebody to come and help. It shows us a sea of both physical and moral pain, caused by traitors and injustice in hearts of men
It’s a very strong book, written in the most wonderful way by a truly talented writer. Every cruel and disgusting scene will make you shiver, and ending left me speechless, yet with a smile on my face. This book will suit those with strong nerves and deep love for historical books of steel. I will gladly rate it 10 out of 10 and recommend to those who can admire a true warlord, without judging what was necessary.
P.S. Dracul has two meanings – Dragon and Devil. The letter a (Draculea – ea used/pronounced as –a means “son of [beginning of the word / Dracul] ) only states him as a son of either Dragon or Devil. Sometimes Vlad was called by both of those.
Official: Dracula. A name of horror, depravity and the darkest sensuality. Yet the real Dracula was just as alluring, just as terrifying, his story not of a monster but of a man… and a contradiction. For the one they called ‘The Devil’s Son’ was both tyrant and lawgiver, crusader and mass slaughterer, torturer and hero, lover and murderer.
Vlad’s extraordinary tale is told by those who knew him best. The only woman he ever loved and whom he has to sacrifice. His closest comrade and traitor. And his priest, betraying the secrets of the confessional to reveal the mind of the man history would forever remember as Tepes – ‘The Impaler’.