Posts Tagged With: historical

Dracul by Dacre Stoker

1Author: Dacre Stoker
Title: Dracul
Series: –
Genre: Gothic, Historical
Pages: 512
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m a little overwhelmed. “Dracul” by Dacre Stoker definitely made me re-think all the books about vampire Dracula that I’ve ever read. And it got me real interested in Bram Stoker himself, so I hope to find books on the man, not just articles online that I’ve read extensively for hours after finishing this.

About: The book, at least at the start of it, is a loosely biographical on Bram Stoker. He was a very sickly child, bedridden. At age seven he almost died of fever, saved in a wicked dream by their mysterious nanna Ellen Crone. After he woke up, strong, and even able to get up, all healed and cured, everyone denied any help from Ellen, and claimed he was cured by his uncle and his leeches. Only his sister Matilda believed him. To add to the mystery, nanny herself packed up and disappeared without a word or anyone noticing, leaving kids on a wild investigation full of nightmares and more questions than answers, up until they had to abandon the cold trail. Nanna Ellen was gone for good. But only a few decades later Matilda spotted her in the streets of France, not aged a day, and the nightmares began again.

Mine: The whole search for Ellen Crone reminded me of Kostova’s “Historian“, and annoyed me to no end. There’s a lot of clue following, and a lot of nonsense too, like memories where you can look upon something from a different angle. What’s next, you open a locked door and know what’s behind it, all in a hypnotic memory? Dracul was a very childish and childishly stubborn idiot too, clever in his ways, but making no sense in his actions. There’s a lot of the “you’ll learn to love me” action that bothered me to no end too. And then the whole book was redeemed by author’s final word, which again makes me wonder: is the joke that had to be explained to be funny – really funny?

I will give this book a 4 out of 5, merely because it made me think and research things on my own. Anything that can evoke action or emotion in you in a book – is a well made thing. But honestly, make sure you love gothic classics, and that you don’t mind Kostova’s “Historian“, before picking this one up.

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Categories: 4-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Gothic Books, Historical Fiction Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Queer Trade by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 0.5

1.jpgAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: A Queer Trade
Series: Rag and Bone 0.5
Genre: Romance, Historical
Pages: 59
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Yes, I have full intentions of getting through whole of K.J. Charles bibliography. I was also told that Rag and Bone series are set in the same world as Magpie Lord. So I started at the beginning, with “A Queer Trade“.

About: Crispin is a magician. An apprentice to an old and powerful warlock, who died a couple days ago. Yet the fact has only reached him today, which means he’s already in a lot of trouble. For the family who owns the house is getting ready to flip all they can. They crammed what books seemed important into a tiny little office, and were in a great progress of selling everything else away. They had no intentions on waiting for Crispin, after all, he should’ve known, somehow, that his master is going to die. So, for instance, papers with weird scribbles on the floor got sold to waste vendors. And waste vendors would then sell those to the market sellers, who will then proceed to wrap you produce in those papers. I invite you to imagine the dread that washed over Crispin at this realization: say, you bought a gutted, dead fish, and brought it home wrapped in a blood written spell paper that reanimates dead things… Yes. Chaos erupts, and magical police gets informed, and Crispin is indeed in one hell-ton of trouble.

Mine: As I was reading, I was dreading this is going to be one of those movie stories, where someone tries to get some kind of an object out of market, but copies just keep appearing. But KJC once again proved she’s very good as steering the plot through all the nooks and crannies, and not take the obvious road. It was a great fun. Made even better by appearance of Esther Gold, Stephen Day’s best friend. Really, love that woman. People should listen to her more, and argue with her less.

I really did enjoy this short little tense adventure with unexpected turn of events. So it gets 5 out of 5 from me, and I’m moving onto the full length book next.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jordan L. Hawk “Necropolis” | Whyborne & Griffin 4

3Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Necropolis
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 4
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 200
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Alright, time to continue a bit with Whyborne & Griffin before I forgot all about everything. Especially since these books didn’t fit into my October TBR, and since they are nice, and easy to read. Nothing too big, but not too little either.

About: After a mostly unsuccessful Christmas diner at Whyborne’s family, the couple’s Holiday is cut short by Christine’s hurried telegram explaining nothing at all, but requesting Whyborne to get to Egypt ASAP. Being a great introvert, Whyborne didn’t want to go, and had to be persuaded by Griffin, and a ghoul that attacked him at work. For in Egypt, under the dead scorched sands, something darkness is waking. Something evil, hungry, and very angry. And Christine, unknowingly, is stepping right in the middle of it.

Mine: People getting mad at Whyborne, because they thought he and Christine had a fling worked very well here. Best was Christine’s response when confronted about it: “ew“. These little incidents worked well with otherwise pretty stressful plot with too obvious villains, and too obvious masked heroes. I mean, I understand it’s not the goal of these books to serve you a detective, but… Ah, it don’t matter. The books are well written. The adventure was built in a perfectly smooth pace, with pauses for discussion, regrouping, a little bit of romance, and a little bit of comic relief, that this time came in a shape of a camel who stole Whyborne’s hats. Yes, multiple.

These are very light reads, and so far are fun too. Not utterly captivating, but I can still give it a solid 4 out of 5, and continue in November. Because really, why not? They might not put you on the edge of the chair, but they definitely won’t have you bored!

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ruta Sepetys – Salt to the Sea

25614492How wonderful it is when someone born so far away, living a life across the world, still looks back with care to where their roots are. Be it the World as a whole, nature as mother, or merely a country full of people who know exactly what your name is, and means. “Salt to the Sea” (ISBN 0399160302; 391p.; Goodreads) is the second book by Ruta Sepetys that I have read, and it confirms it: she’s wonderful.

The story is one of fleeing refugees, trapped among the two sides at war, two sides with little to no care of who dies, or who lives, as long as they can secure victory, or avoid defeat. Joana Vilkas is a nurse with consciousness weighted by the fate of her cousin, Lina Vilkas, from the previous book “Between Shades of Gray“. Lina was taken to Siberia, while Joana is running for a ship that’d take her to Germany, where she’d be reunited with her mother. Being a compassionate nurse she soon finds herself in a larger group of people. A wandering boy who just came out of the forest one day, claiming his granny never woke up. An old man, shoemaker, full of hopes, and plenty of positivism to share and spare. A giant woman they call Sorry Eva, for her mind lacks the filter when it comes to saying awful, brutal, and just disrespectful things, adding “sorry” before or after. A blind girl with great sense of people around her. And the two they will soon meet.

Florian is running for his life, shrapnel in his body making it ever harder. He needed to stop, and so the underground bunker he stumbled upon seemed heaven-sent. Inside he didn’t lose a moment assessing the situation. A rowdy Russian soldier. A girl in pink hat, probably not older than his own sister, passed out in terror. Girl, Emilia, woke up to find a corpse staring at her, and her knight, her savior, who shot him. Lifting her own fears, and secrets up, she follows him, as the last good man on Earth.

Their destination is one: get on a ship to Germany. Russians are not only already surrounding the refugees, but are pressing in too. It was wonderful to see what broke people to put their darkest secrets into the hands of others. How among dread, and terror, hope in, and for humanity was born. I give it a firm 5 out of 5 for I could not possibly give it less.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The One who never leaves me

Funny thing, to say “Dracula never leaves my side“, but it’s quite accurate, trust me. Pretty much, whenever I reach an edge in my life or a crossroad, which is just as devastating sometimes, I end up with a book on Dracula in my lap. It happened just enough times for me to take it into consideration and begin collecting books on him. And I don’t speak of Dracula the Vampire, tho that one’s good too, but most of all, I speak of Vlad the Impaler, Draculea.

Some books I’ve gotten before I had to decide which path to take in the Crossroad of Life (sadly, no demon to make a deal with, but hey… Maybe I’m wrong, now that I think of it…), but right on the decision making time – I’d remember an important thing from the previous book. Bear with me, this’ll be a long tale to spin.

I believe the first book purely dedicated to the man as half-fiction that I laid my hands on (beside little things, lets just count the stuff that has over a 100 pages, okay?) was Elizabeth Kostova “The Historian”. Funny, how in our language this title took upon a female form, while within the book, the only person to claim the title is a man. If we could call him a man still. Dracula, in this book, is sought and seeked by a young missy, daughter of a historian. She follows her father’s footsteps, who followed Dracula’s coffin, so to say. Until they bumped into each other. It appeared there that Dracula finds it amusing how people write books about him and collects them, much as I do now. It’s an interesting book, more so because it describes wonderful and inspiring things one would like to follow as the characters did. To add to that it contains some true facts on Vlad, tho he’s constantly called “Vlad Tepes” and “Dracula” is only said to be a “nickname” which means “Son of the Dragon / Son of the Devil”. Which is a bit redundant when you think on it, for Tepes (or Tsepesh) means “Impaler”, literally. And Dracul was his father’s, Vlad II Dracul name. They, as son’s of the Dragons became “Draculea” (book says: Draculya), and that -ea means they’re a son of the <word before -ea>. Author dug so deep, and yet not deep enough to figure his name. It’s just that strange to me. But anyways, how did this book help me? I don’t remember when or how I bought it, but I enjoyed the size of it, as I have a hard time to put the book away. But I remember the firm need to make a decision in my life – what would I want and COULD be (for I’d absolutely like to be an astronaut, but with my data that won’t happen anytime soon. Unless science is kind and quick…). I tried to shuffle things in my head, to rely on this one thing I could do with love – read. And so it struck me. Historian. Later in life it evolved and now I am a freelance translator, for history is all written and the more I read – the happier I am, even if not all things I receive in my hands are history.

EK_historian_msg2theming

  The next book is by far, the most important and valued by me no matter the help “The Historian” provided me with. It’s the C.C. Humphreys “Vlad: The Last Confession”. It’s a historical romance with no vampires in it, yet when you look upon that boy who broke once and made the name “Prince Impaler” cause shudder in every person with consciousness unclean, and then the man who broke the second time and silently finish what had to be finished exactly the way it should have been… Pretty much, it’s Vlad’s story told by three people who followed him in life. Remember, that history is written by victors, so many things are very loosely based on any documents remaining. He was given to Ottoman together with his brother, Radu the Fair to be political prisoners and a living promise that their father will not act against the Sultain. Thing is (was), their older brother, Mircea, wasn’t so sure it wasn’t worth it. In the end, Vlad’s view to the world and enemy shifted, bit by bit. And if you ever saw a stack of books slowly shift sideways – you know that there comes a time when it all falls down and turns into a chaos. Vlad was sent to Tokat, a known school and prison of Torturers and Tortured. Simple – inflict or have inflicted. And they know how to cause you pain for you to start fearing any more of it. They’ll remind you hour after hours – you will not die. You will suffer, and suffer and suffer more. This was the first. Of the second I will not speak, for it gets amazing soon after. So much, in fact, that I couldn’t understand why I didn’t read it sooner.

  I bought it when I felt crushed and saw no reason to go on further. I was in a mess which wasn’t even mine, yet had to either help fix it, or fall with it. I bought it with many other books, but it was the only book I truly wanted and continued thinking of it. Maybe that was the reason I didn’t read it so long. For two years, I think, I just held it, fearing that if I start – it will end. And it did, but so well that I am pleased and most happy with it. Mr. Humphreys, if this ever reaches your eyes – know that not only Your work is loved – it most likely saved a person.
P.S. – it was the first time for me in the UK and as you’ll later see, it’s from there where Dracula reaches me the most often or with most impact.

Vlad_msg2theming

  Inspired by the CC.H. book as much as I was, finally I came upon Bram Stoker “Dracula”. it was then that I figured that in our library reside morons who don’t even know the classics. One woman comes to work slightly drunk now and again, the other can’t point you to the book, the third one will tell you it’s THE book when you KNOW it’s not the book. So first I’ve read “The Guest of Dracula”, and just then received the Dracula. Right now I own three versions, two Lithuanian, first edition and second re-print, and an English one. On this one we shall speak now. Chronologically it’s incorrect to be talking of it now, but as I began and don’t feel like talking on same book twice, I shall speak of it anyways. Pretty much, first one I received when I found it by accident myself in the same named library where no one knew what this book even is, apparently. I found it, and few weeks later – bought my own copy of it. Few months later, a friend and a vampirologist sold me her second print copy, as she was about to move to the city of vampires – New Orleans, Louisiana. Third copy, the English one, I tried obtaining when I was second time in UK. This time I felt a bit better, but I was determined to get my share of Vlad Dracula this time, for I already heard those bells toll. Thing is – I didn’t find one. I went to second-hand book store, where my not-so-smart brain told me to look in first and they didn’t have one. I bought Frankenstein tho. And months later, sister bought me an AMAZING copy. And here’s why I think that one was meant for me too, sorta – another reach out towards me: me and sister… Well, we’re not friends. We get along just about enough to bury the war axe when she’s not doing something stupid and she does care for me, but then she does something stupid and I can’t contain the anger and spill it drowning everything like the poor Pompeii. She told me right away that she has Dracula for me, and as we were on good terms – I was happy. Even happier when she said that the cover is strange and scared her shitless when she saw it suddenly reflect a ray of light in the dark… I’m glad the Prince doesn’t like her much either.  (And, again, it reached me from UK)

BramStoker_Dracula Drakula_LT_msg2theMing

  Another book that got into my hands from UK was Kim Newman “Anno Dracula”. Funny thing, how I seeked terribly and only chance dropped it into my hands. As if there was only one purpose for the lad who was with me there, only one reason to be – to go on and find me a Dracula’s book. Next two I bought myself. Second one is “Bloody Red Baron” and the third “Dracula Cha Cha Cha“. Fourth is “Johnny Alucard“, but at the very moment I don’t feel like having it, for reasons that happen in third book. Never the less – these books are amazing. First of all, they’re with this hard Steampunk vibe. Second – it contains so many other characters from real life that I was mesmerized. Third – Dracula introduced me to E.A. Poe and I regret NOTHING. And mr. Poe in return drew the most beautiful picture of Dracula. These books opened a whole new doors for me in literature and remembering another book I’ll tell you more of further on, you could say this one who never leaves me is even attempting to tutor me and educate when it comes to literature. Good, I’ll take it.

  These three books are full of mad scientists, vampires on every corner, nobility and royalty from middle-ages and even before that who don’t know what to do with this New World and so on. One thing never changes tho. Vlad Dracula still loves his warfare toys.

AnnoDracula_msg2theming

  The other book was lent to me by the same friend who gave me her copy of Dracula. It was first time I ever read this type of a book. What type? Well, one of those we could call “secret and true journal of Mina Harker“. Syrie James “Dracula, My Love” is the book and out of the two that I’ve read of such books, this one is by far the superior. More or less, it’s Mina telling the story, of how it was and who this “monster” really was. Boo for me – this isn’t Vlad Dracula she speaks of, but I just threw away the name “Nikolay” he gave her, for he’s a bit of a liar when it’s for the sake of keeping somewhat of a peace that would please him better, and decided to forget he claimed not to be Vlad the Impaler. Now, why is this book good and why I consider important as a “reach out”? For Dracula gives one damn good point to Mina there we all, no matter gender, age, nationality, race, religion etc can use. He asked her – why do you care what strangers think of you? You see them once and never again. And you are you forever. Pretty much, he asked her to go take a boat to swim around the lake or river or what it was with him. Naturally, she went all wobbly – no no, what will people think, me, unmarried and without anyone else, going swimming with another man, a stranger to that. He was taken aback by that – the hell? It seemed… Interesting. To wonder of why would one really take it into consideration the opinion of complete strangers who neither know you, nor you them. So I consider this book a win.

  Oh, and the story of it, as I said, it’s the Stoker’s Dracula from Mina’s perspective in depth. The journal Stoker put as “her part of the story” is false, so to say. It’s an interesting romance. Even more so as Mina’s child turned out to be very alike this stranger…

  And let me right away get to the second this type of the book, a book by Karen Essex “Dracula in Love”. Let me tell you right away, were Dracula here – James, and Mina – Katty – this would be a great, simple supernatural romance book with just about everything in it. But instead our dear author, who claimed it to be nearly supernatural, how she first wrote the book, then checked the facts and found out that few things she made up – actually happened (sadly I am left to wonder a lot which ones), decided to ride the Dracula’s horse (don’t get any funny ideas here) of fame. While in a sense this book is good, as a vampire book that has Dracula in it – it’s very bad it made me think of Twilight. Now, I’m not saying either Dracula or Cullen’s a fairy. I’m saying their relation with them sucks badly. Yet this book is still in my shelf and will go no where from there. Why? Lets return to Historian – it evolved as far as me becoming this freelance translator, and this book, this “Dracula in Love” was my first paycheck as translator purchase. I decided I have to give the toll and I don’t regret it, even if the book is no where near my favorites.

Minas_diaries_syrie_james_dracula_my_love_Karen_essex_Dracula_in_love_msg2theming

  Now, in UK when I was looking for Dracula’s book by Stoker, I didn’t get away empty handed (beside Kim Newman’s “Anno Dracula” and Frankenstein). I found something else, something I didn’t know existed. Later it turned out – I did know, I just forgot completely. It’s the another “sequel of Dracula”, this time claiming the title “official”, for author is somewhat Stoker-related. It’s Dracre Stoker “Dracula: The Un-Dead”. And you know what? I haven’t read it yet. I think I’ll keep it for a little while more, just to have something.

Dacre_stoker_msg2theming

  Naturally, these are only the books that are truly on Dracula the Vampire or Vlad the Impaler. I got plenty more that either mention him or quote him as a character or person who was and/or is. Like Victor Pelevin “Empire V” (quoted), or Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams “Tunnels” series where he’s mentioned in one book as a man who existed and fought the same enemy people in those books now have to fight. Or even a couple of Charlaine Harris books on Sookie Stackhouse, last one, where Sookie contemplates being Dracula’s Bride to Eric Northman, and the short-stories collection, where Eric desperately waits Dracula to show up, for his birthday is as revered by vampires there as, say, New Years and Christmas to us, for before Dracula – vampires wore rags and lives in holes underground. But Vlad Draculea was a prince, so there was no question of him sleeping in dirt, when there were soft beds and silks…  Or even that one sentence in Mary Crow Dog’s “Lakota Women”, where she claimed that Bavaria sounded to her like some Dracula’s country, for she knew nothing of it. Or Philip K. Dick “A Scanner Darkly” with also but one sentence “counts Draculas are sleeping”. And even Richard Matheson “I am Legend”, that one line where Robert reads “Dracula”. I also own four volumes of Kohta Hirano “Hellsing” (and intend to get the rest), and two volumes of Hideyuki Kikuchi “Vampire Hunter D”. Why all this obsession? Because it helped me when I most needed the help. And taught me those basic things I didn’t know. And so in return I can at least keep track of it all, can’t I?

Categories: About Msg2TheMing, Books: Everything, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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