Book Review: Countess, A novel of Elizabeth Bathory by Rebecca Johns

  • Review: Countess, A novel of Elizabeth Bathory
  • Series: —
  • Author: Rebecca Johns
  • No of Pages: 284
  • Release Date: October 12th 2010

The original portrait of the Countess Elizabet...Was the “Blood Countess” history’s first and perhaps worst female serial killer? Or did her accusers create a violent fiction in order to remove this beautiful, intelligent, ambitious foe from the male-dominated world of Hungarian politics?

What was most alluring about the Countess was the fact that it was in first person. You get a first hand look through the life of the eyes of someone that kills but doesn’t feel any remorse for it. This was not a blood bath or a vampire story but rather the look behind a beautiful, intelligent woman of the 1600’s. Your heart pounds with hers as she moves from her life to the house of her betrothed, wanting nothing more than to please him and his mother but sadly she finds a different state than what is at her own house under her mother’s keep. From the beginning of the book you can tell that she is upset by many of the servants, sometimes so much so that before she is even the Lady of the house she wants to punish them.

What’s happening:

You watch as she grows into womanhood and her intelligence holds no bounds. She lives through many horrors as a woman and is left feeling stronger but also a bitter seed is growing inside her and you can see that it is festering in her. The multiple times she catches a lover cheating, or an unwed woman pregnant, she has a conniption. Rightly so? Maybe but because of many of these experiences she grows harder and less capable of holding her tongue and more importantly, her temper.

Even as a child she could match wits with the best of them, even the King and will do absolutely anything for her children but she soon realizes after her husband’s death that nothing can save her. She has tried to live a life that shows that she is strong and can live without a man but through it all she knows she needs a man at her side to be able to keep the predators at bay.

My Thoughts:

Most of the story is very political, drawing conspiracy theories that truly start you wondering how much Erzsebeth did to have such a horrid reputation but then there are snippets throughout that show that maybe she is not in the full use of her abilities. She many times lets her anger get the best of her and has taught her upper servants to punish accordingly. But sadly she does not reign them in as servant girl after servant girl goes missing again and again. And as she has no man to protect her but lots of land, she finds herself alone and without a friend that will speak a kindly word for her. Those that were friendly toward her prior to her husband’s death all have their hand in the pot, each wants a piece of what the new widow owns. And because of this and because of Erzsebeth’s lack of humility when killing a lowly servant, she is driven out of her own lands.

The story was fantastic but I was left wanting more. I don’t want to spoil the ending, and I do believe it is worth reading but it just ending on a questionable note for me. It didn’t take any time to read, the story flows beautifully and the plot is well spelled out but again I am not fully satisfied. I feel that this was the appetizer to all that there is to know about Erzsebeth Bathory and the good side of this is that I will read more. So, for me this gets a 3.5/5.

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3 comments

  1. […] have finished the memoir on Elizabeth Bathory, for the memoir, good story but not exactly what I was expecting, quite political actually more […]

  2. […] 10 – Countess, A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory (A memoir or narrative nonfiction) […]

  3. […] comments: I would wonder if I really do like vampires what with my book review on Dracula, the Countess and now Salem’s Lot! My all time favorite vamp story is definitely Anne Rice’s […]

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