Read House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty Online


In the early 1600s, Elizabeth Báthory, the infamous Blood Countess, ruled Cachtice Castle in the hinterlands of Slovakia. During bizarre nightly rites, she tortured and killed the young women she had taken on as servants. A devil, a demon, the terror of Royal Hungary—she bathed in their blood to preserve her own youth.400 years later, echoes of the Countess’s legendary bruIn the early 1600s, Elizabeth Báthory, the infamous Blood Countess, ruled Cachtice Castle in the hinterlands of Slovakia. During bizarre nightly rites, she tortured and killed the young women she had taken on as servants. A devil, a demon, the terror of Royal Hungary—she bathed in their blood to preserve her own youth.400 years later, echoes of the Countess’s legendary brutality reach Aspen, Colorado. Betsy Path, a psychoanalyst of uncommon intuition, has a breakthrough with sullen teenager Daisy Hart. Together, they are haunted by the past, as they struggle to understand its imprint upon the present. Betsy and her troubled but perceptive patient learn the truth: the curse of the House of Bathory lives still and has the power to do evil even now.The story, brimming with palace intrigue, memorable characters intimately realized, and a wealth of evocative detail, travels back and forth between the familiar, modern world and a seventeenth-century Eastern Europe brought startlingly to life....

Title : House of Bathory
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781477808641
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 486 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

House of Bathory Reviews

  • Shandra
    2019-03-08 02:40

    Buddy read with Athena.Actual rating 3.5 stars.I'm rounding up (see review below to understand why I chose to).I spent most of the book oscillating between:and:It was GLORIOUS!!!!The ending just made me:This is going to be a very difficult review for me to write, so please bare with me.From page one, Miss Lafferty sucked me in!! ILOVEDhow she went back and forth from the year 1610 to 2010. I was totally into the characters from both time periods and could NOT wait to see where the story went. I was so intrigued to find out how each of the time periods would intertwine and what the meaning of it all was. There were some seriously dark, evil, and downright dreadful characters in this book. Elizabeth Bathory was a disgusting waste of human flesh (both in this book and as a real person)!!!As we do with any book we are reading, we start to draw conclusions and think where the story is going. This book was no exception. Based on the words the author flowed across the page, I started to think the book was turning me towards the right. The last, oh maybe 40 or 50 pages, made me make a hard turn left. I felt lost. I was confused.Where is she taking me? She'll turn back to the right at some point. Won't she?? Wait…she's continuing left. WTF….TURN RIGHT!!!! TURN RIGHT!!!!!!!Then…it ended.I spent this entire book loving it, and it ended so far from where she spent 400 pages taking me. I am a little bitter. Ok, I admit that. I thought this entire time I would rate this book five stars. I may turn back and revise my rating when the burn ebbs off. But right now, I'm stinging from what she did to me.This was by NO MEANS a bad book. I still stand firm that it was a very good book, and one of the better writing styles I've encountered in some time. Lafferty is magical with the way she writes. She absolutely just pulls the reader into the story and makes you feel like you are a part of the world. I see a theme in myself: When a book is taking me down one path for the entire book and suddenly changes at the end, I tend to rate that book lower. I did the same with Night Film. I know that wasn't the only book I've done that to. So, please, don't let my review deter you from reading this, especially if you've been wanting to. I'll wake up tomorrow, the bitterness will be gone, the confusion of being turned left when I thought we were going right will have lifted, and I'll be able to look at this book and say,Yes, you were wonderful! Thank you for the time we spent together!

  • Nicole~
    2019-03-22 02:20

    I had to close the book by the 2nd chapter when the Countess, admiring her image in her mirror, asked her handmaiden if she thought she was the most beautiful woman. The pox faced handmaiden replied that she was, in all of Christendom and the Oriental kingdom, or some nonsense like that. Any further, I think Snow White might pop out.

  • Erin
    2019-03-17 21:42

    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....Known as the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Báthory is one of history's most prolific serial killers. Formally charged for only eighty deaths, evidence, supposedly written in her own hand, suggests more than six hundred women fell victim to her sadistic obsession. The legend surrounding Elizabeth serves as the foundation of Linda Lafferty's House of Bathory, but much like Holly Luhning's Quiver, the book itself is a modern day mystery with supporting historic content.To her credit, Lafferty spends a lot time in seventeenth century Hungary, exploring Elizabeth's world through Zuzana and Janos. This approach allowed Lafferty to examine the period in a way I'd not seen before, but I can't deny feeling cheated as it prevented her from really digging into the countess' character.The modern story didn't really appeal to me. Betsy, Daisy, Grace, etc. didn't feel as authentic as the historical cast and the situational drama, particularly towards the end of the narrative, was simply too hard to swallow. I understood what Lafferty was getting at, synchronicity and all, but I don't particularly care for the theory and as such, found little to appreciate in the ultimate resolution.Now I know what you're thinking. Sychcro what? I'd not heard of it either, but as it is so essential to the story, I took it upon myself to do a little research on Carl Jung, his psychological study of dream analysis and the concept of synchronicity. I won’t bore you with the details, but understand a fundamental comprehension of these subjects is vital to interpreting the underlying themes of the Lafferty's work. I can't stress this enough folks. Eight of twelve titles in the bibliography are entirely irrelevant to Báthory and in the acknowledgments section, Lafferty actually states "Carl Jung’s psychoanalytic methods and The Red Book were a springboard for this novel. Jung’s perspective on mental illness, psychology, and synchronicity helped me to look for interconnections among characters, past and present."Highly creative, but not at all what I expected.

  • Andrea Murray
    2019-03-08 05:33

    I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.House of Bathory is a tale of incestual and sadistic horror, framed by a modern story that mirrors the twisted history until the two are so intertwined it’s impossible to tell where one stops and the other begins. The history in this novel is extensive, sometimes a little overwhelming, but being a history buff, I appreciated the research and detail in the scenes depicting the seventeenth century world of Eastern Europe and the court of Elizabeth Bathory. Lafferty does a great job of interlocking the past and present events, showing how the past leaks its way into our own lives and seeming to support the Jungian discourse of the wheel of life. This was one of those stories I couldn’t forget. I found myself wondering what the characters were doing—a sign of good novel. However, with twelve plus POVs and 486 pages, this one isn’t for a light, weekend read. With all of that omniscience, I felt I needed a guidebook at times to keep track of the plot. There were a few episodes which needed more explanation, like a seeming past-life episode that Daisy experiences, and the storyline with Daisy’s father wasn’t foreshadowed enough to create believability. I also wondered about the age range for this one. I first selected an ARC because I thought it fell into the YA historical genre, but while Daisy’s story carries a portion of the plot, it is relatively small, and the language and suggestive content makes it mature. 4 stars

  • T.M. Williams
    2019-03-19 01:41

    I dragged through this. This book took over a week to read which is insanely long for me. How can someone turn one of the most fascinating, macabre, mysterious, psychotic woman in the world and turn her in a bore? Read this book and you'll find out how. Normally, I like different perspectives in a book but this was rough and choppy. Just as I was starting to become invested in a storyline it shifted to someone elses. There was really no connection and it hinted towards some paranormal, just enough to make parts of the story work for the author. I hate when a writer uses convenient magic or paranormal to make a story work for them. What very little there was of a storyline didn't connect or flow. Daisy Hart was the only relatively non two-dimensional character in the book. There was no character development at all and the author didn't go much into a Taltos, which she mentions a few times. You're pulled through the book only because she has so much foreshadowing that you just want to know what the heck the author is talking about. There's really no explanation in the end - just two psychos in two different time periods. The only thing I appreciated was the historical reference and the depiction of location and time. I really got a feel for Bathory's Castle. I almost wanted to give this book a 2 star just for that -but it wasn't enough. The story failed in so many ways. Even the wikipedia explanation of Elizabeth Bathory is interesting - how this story failed at her story is just baffling.

  • Stephanie (Bookfever. ♥)
    2019-03-16 03:28

    House of Bathory was absolutely an amazing read. I flew through it in no time because my eyes were glued to the screen of my Kindle. It was that good! I didn't know what I expected starting it but it turned out even better than I had hoped.I've always been intrigued by the story of Elizabeth Bathory. I love history and I've seen documentaries and movies about her so I was pretty excited to read this book. I'm so glad I got accepted for it via NetGalley. This book is my first Linda Lafferty book and I'm so excited to have found a new historical fiction author that I can see myself wanting to read all the books from. Her writing was compelling, never got boring and it was fast-paced. Also it didn't shy away from the horror that Countess Bathory inflicted on so many innocent people.The story also was just amazing and dark. And very exciting, not knowing what was going to happen next or if my favorite characters would survive...I loved how it jumped from the 1600's to 2010 and how everything fit together. I just love books like that.There were a lot of POVs that may be a little distracting to some. Even I must admit that at first I had to get used to it but I soon got used to it and now I think it was perfectly done that way.Another thing I loved was how Carl Jung was a big part of this book. In the last year I've come to be a little intrigued also by Jungian psychology. Coincidence. Or not? Overall, House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty was a fantastic read. I loved the writing and how the author could suck me right into the story, especially the 1600's chapters. It was like I was there. So amazing!

  • Victoria
    2019-03-19 04:44

    This book wasn't at all what I expected. I thought I was reading a historical fiction book about Elizabeth Bathory. Although her story features in the pages, the main focus is on Betsy Path, a psychologist, her mother, Grace Path, a doctor, and Betsy's patient, Daisy Hart. I don't usually like time-slip novels but I actually did enjoy this one. My main problem was that we never get to get our teeth into the Countess or the other historical figures. We never really get to know them or any real details about the events that passed during that terrible period of time. The author teases the reader with short chapters throughout the whole book. The book is actually more of a mystery than a historical novel. I'd say the main theme is actually psychology, the work of a man called Carl Jung and his book, The Red Book. It is definitely worth a read if you're interested in any of the topics, (Bathory, psychology, mystery and also quite a strong goth theme) but I can't say how accurate the historical detail is as this is a period of history that I've never before read about. However, it's piqued my interest and I will most definitely be seeking out further information on Elizabeth Bathory and the crimes she committed.

  • Suneha
    2019-03-25 02:19

    2.5 StarsIt had such great potential but the author didn't make it work. I expected the countess to be cruel and wicked, which she was, but she was not as wicked or as chilling or horrifying as I expected a serial killer to be. I'm disappointed at her bland portrayal. Daisy was sweet and all but she was so reckless, stupid, whimsical and GOTHIC. She put herself in stupid situation which could have easily gotten her raped or murdered in real life. But of course, since this is fiction, nothing happens to our sweet character. The words goth and Jung were so overused in this novel that my eye would twitch every time I read it. I really don't understand Daisy's obsession with the goth world. It is so ANNOYING. Everything needs to be gothic for her. And no one looks at a person and sa1ys, "Oh, hi. You're goth."Betsy was boring, John was bleh and I can't seem to recall the names of the other characters. I liked Betsy's mom though, she was sassy and full of class.The ending was stupid. All the strings weren't properly tied at the end and I didn't get ANY feeling of closure or satisfaction after I finished this book.Overall, I'm not highly disappointed as I hadn't expected much from this book because of all the low ratings. I don't know what I was expecting from this book, more information on the countess, I guess but this book failed to tell me what I didn't already know through wiki.

  • Naomi Blackburn
    2019-03-16 03:43

    This author had been recommended to me so when I saw this book pop up on Netgalley. I asked to review it.I finished this book 3 days ago and I am still trying to figure out what in the hell I just read. This book was pure silliness. Elizabeth Bathory is a fascinating person in history. She is even more fascinating now that there are theories that she might have been set up so that the King could seize her property and not pay back a debt that he had made with her husband. With all of that...this is the silliness that comes out of the book?I have decided that I would like the 5 hours that it took for me to read this book back. I have also decided that I need to take another look at my reviewing guidelines.

  • Alice Rand
    2019-02-24 23:34

    A Wonderful, Fascinating Read. When I came across House of Bathory I was intrigued. I learned from Wikipedia that the Countess of Bathory was infamous--“…the most prolific female serial killer in history”-- but I had never heard of her. After reading about who she was, and when and where she lived, I had to read this book. I was not disappointed. Two stories are told: the fascinating historical story in Cachtice Castle in 1610 leading up to the Countess’s arrest; and the second story, just as fascinating, that begins in 2010 Colorado. Together, these two stories are expertly told, and House of Bathory becomes quite an exciting, ‘unputdownable’ reading experience. Linda Lafferty’s vivid characters greatly contributed. I found some brave, plucky, intuitive, resourceful, while others were depraved, deranged, despicable—all quite hard to forget.At the beginning, there is a quote from C.G. Jung: “…Am I a combination of the lives of these ancestors and do I embody these lives again?” As House of Bathory unfolded, I found myself returning to this quote again and again.

  • Morgannah
    2019-03-03 03:33

    09-23-2016$1.99 on KindleJust in time for October.

  • Græme Ravenscroft
    2019-03-24 05:20

    This is a partial review, based on about 12% of the book. [Having finished it, everything I've said here stands.]∙Countess Báthory is a Disney villain: painfully, awkwardly, cary-carryingly Evil-with-a-capital-E. The author clearly loved the Queen from Snow White, because this is all Lady Báthory is.∙The rest of the cast are complete cardboard. One characterization detail and we're done. Both mothers are overbearing and just don't understand their daughters. The Countess' servantry are all useless, quivering lumps. I allow that that's probably an accurate depiction of the Blood Countess' people, but it'd be nice if they existed as people, rather than just plot devices to further the point that OMG THE COUNTESS IS SO EEEEEEEEVIL, YOU GUYS.∙Daisy, our darling young gothy protagonist, is burdened by characterization so overwrought and melodramatic it's almost insulting, and I've never even been a teenage girl. The author hammers on how Daisy is a Goth (capitalized in every instance): Goth this, Goth that. 'Goth' is every fourth word. She has the potential to be an interesting character — obvious connection to the Taltos 'Horse Sorceror' Janos aside — but every time I start to think she's drawn passably, we're back to hammering on her white makeup and her black crêpe dress. The first interaction she has with someone other than her mother (an overbearing bitch) or her therapist (kind of vapid) is with a boy from school and she's every inch the hyper-defensive, snarling monster you'd expect from a Hollywood high school film's 'lol, goths are weird' girl.∙I'm not sure the author did any research whatsoever into the goth scene. I'm pretty sure she saw a Hot Topic once and decided it would make a good character decoration. That's all it is so far, by the by: decoration. The girl's goffiness doesn't have any bearing on the story and kind of makes me feel like the author is delivering a personal tract: 'omg, these people are just so weird, like wear some color already, omg'. Combining this point and the last, there's a line delivered by Daisy to the effect of 'Mother, you just don't understand the Goth world' and it would be hysterical if it weren't so cringe-inducing. [Apparently she spent some time in the Aspen, CO 'High Goth' scene. I'm not sure what she took away from it.]∙One of our other protagonists is a psychotherapist named 'Betsy'. (For some reason, the name alone annoys me, but I'll own that that's my problem and not the author's.) Her only driving motivation thus far is an obsession with her hero, Carl Jung. Goth : Daisy :: Jung : Betsy. (Her mom is also an overbearing, meddlesome bitch.) [Of course she was named 'Betsy', because her actual name is Elizabeth Bathory. WHOAAAAA MY MIND.]∙Daisy's half-sister Morgan appears briefly to deliver a cryptic question and then vanish into the sunset. 99% of her scene is spent describing how breathtakingly beautiful this young woman is — white; athletic; redheaded but not ginger; you see where I'm going — with the remaining 1% devoted to her asking obtuse questions, hinting at some weirdness on the part of her and Daisy's father, and then flouncing off. If she appears again, my money's on a contrived death scene or, at most, some eye-socket-damaging pablum where she and Daisy reconnect and learn to love each other. (If there's even a hint that she's the Countess reincarnated or preserved over the centuries, I'll scream until the day I die.) [She was, at least according to a delusional psychopath.]∙I'm a little tired of the 'centuries-spanning parallel stories' trope, but again that's personal preference and no flaw on the part of the book. The links between them seem really transparent and will probably be played for shock value later, like YOU TOTALLY DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING, BUT WHOA, I JUST BLEW YOUR MIND, GUY.∙The longest chapter I've seen so far was about eight pages. Considering the writing is fairly fluffy anyway, the pace is breakneck. It's jarring to switch storylines every couple of minutes, but maybe you prefer a story like that?Somehow, for some reason, I'm not ready to put it down yet. The history and setting details, maybe; lately, that's the thing I get into more than storyline or characters. We'll see if it gets better, but I am definitely not going to elevate my hopes.Final verdict: two stars feels generous.

  • Gabby
    2019-03-12 04:45

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.Alice Roosevelt Longworth is credited for having said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." Ms Longworth couldn't possibly have read The House Of Bathory by Linda Lafferty, but had she been able to read it, Alice and I could have had a great time saying not nice things together. This wasn't a very good book, and it should have been.The subject of the story is a fascinating, albeit despicable, woman who terrorizes those who work for her, Countess Bathory. She expects slavish attention to her every whim, and she shows little to no compassion for anyone who cannot meet her incredibly high, impossible standards. But she is only one part of the story. The other part, told simultaneously with parts from the past, concerns Dr Elizabeth Bath, a psychologist who is following in her father's footsteps both with her profession and with a connection, possibly, to the Bathory lineage. The Countess Bathory was a real person who victimized hundreds of young girls in heinous ways simply to achieve her goal of being the most beautiful woman in the land. The young girls who worked for her and attended to her were beaten, starved, and often disappeared without a trace. In 1589 there was no one to speak for the victims or their families. Everyone in the area surrounding Countess Bathory's castle was entirely at her mercy. I thought there would be more depth given to Countess Bathory since this story was supposed to revolve around her. She remains a sinister and infamous historical presence, and a book about her should be fascinating. Unfortunately, the Countess was almost a secondary character to this story. Simply repeating over and over again that she was someone to fear, along with snippets of information about several of the girls who worked for her, does not convey the sense of pure evil the Countess should have had. Add to that the simultaneous story of a psychologist who doesn't seem to be very good at her job nor at anything else she does, and what results is lots of pages of repeated ideas with no feeling behind them. There is also the subplot involving Daisy Hart. Had that been more interesting, it might have saved the book or given it more credibility. Instead, Daisy is also uninteresting, has clothes issues, and needs some guidance from a professional much better than Betsy Bath.If I had to recommend this book to someone, it would be a perfect fit for a person looking for a lackluster, mediocre, very loosely plotted novel to carry around with no real interest in who is doing what to whom. No surprise, I'm not recommending **The House Of Bath** to anyone I know.

  • Athena Shardbearer
    2019-03-15 00:34

    Read this one with my buddy and horror addict ShandraThe most frightening terror in the world was not ghosts, or monsters, not vampires or any of that nonsense. The most terrifying creature in the world is a madman.I enjoy a book that makes you think and wonder if there are people in this world that are capable of horrible things. Then you do research and find out that, yes there are. I have heard of Countess Bathory, I think in high school maybe college, but never really went more into find out about her. Well I have now. I do not like her, at all. She took advantage of poor girls and slaughtered them. There are no solid facts about the precise number of girls she killed but it was speculated to be about 650, but they could only confirm 80. She tortured them and then killed them. The writing was great, and being pulled in was no problem. I was intrigued by the characters and where the story was going. Daisy was funny and I love her drive to help, she did make me mad once or twice. Betsy and John were so cute together. Grace reminded me of my mom, alot! I think I cringed a lot in this book. Blood was everywhere! Example:On the floor was a tub made of granite, with a long plastic hose running from the drain. Ugly brown stains had discolored the gray stone.Or:The church cemetery is filled with the bodies of young women, all whom have served the Countess. Their bodies mangled and devoid of blood. I have seen them with my own eyes. They say the Countess bathes in their blood to preserve her youth.So I think this is a really good book, for horror junkies. I just hated how it ended, but we can't all have the ending we want.

  • Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
    2019-03-24 00:34

    Disclaimer: This ARC was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.This book was pretty awesome and horrific. I really enjoyed reading this.The only thing I didn't like was the teenaged "goth". It was cringe-worthy and hella awkward to read.

  • Krista
    2019-03-12 01:23

    This is a historical fiction, as well as, mystery novel. Author Lafferty switched between both past (1600's) and present day (2010). Although Lafferty is wonderful at going back in forth in time periods (never confusing). I found myself drawn to the past and not the present day. The past story line was intriguing and I could have read an entire book on Countess Bathory herself. I felt the present was boring and dragged out until the ending. I also felt the entire Carl Jung thing was just kind of thrown in. I was hoping to have present day really collide with the past. Other than 1 thing there was no relation to the 2 stories. I mean Lafferty at one point was making it seem as though one of the characters was an incarnate of Countess Bathory and that was not the case at all. Which would have been so cool. I needed more of the past in the ending. I really loved the characters in the past and the story line. The present day the characters seemed really annoying. Especially Grace, which is suppose to be a professor at a prestigious college. Really smart, however, did really dumb stuff! Overall, my rating is based on the past story and the author Lafferty's writing. I found the book enjoyable. I never found myself skipping parts, I wanted to but I thought at some point the present day story would pick up, it did a little at the last quarter of the book. I love author Lafferty's books, however, this is my least favorite so far. I would have probably rated this book at 2 star (it's ok), if it had been a different author. However, ,my love of Lafferty's writing made me give it 3 stars.

  • Leslie
    2019-03-11 03:36

    *sigh* I had such hopes for this book considering its infamous subject of Countess Bathory. I knew some of her gory history, so that just added fuel to my interest in the book. Therefore, I was so disappointed in what the book offered. It wasn’t what I expected or hoped for and in the end, I was just happy I finally got through it.There were many issues I had with the book, I honestly don’t know where to begin. The story and all its components never really got a strong foothold on what it was trying to convey. There wasn’t any depth to the writing, the plot and the characters. As I read through the book, I was constantly looking for more. I just felt that the story was just automatically moving from one scene to another with the intent to get to its conclusion. There was never any real development or build up of the characters and the story. It didn’t help that Linda Lafferty was constantly shifting between time periods in each chapter and said chapters tended to be short and, at times, abrupt. It made it difficult for me to get immersed in what was going on since in a page or two there’s a new chapter and the focus is back in the past or in the present. As a whole, I thought Lafferty could’ve written and organized the story in a better way with more fluidity to the narrative where she could really expand on the scenes and characters and actually make me care about what was going on.Which brings me to my next issue: her characters. I honestly never felt anything for them. Not because I didn’t like them, but that I never truly got a sense for who they were and the relationships with each other. Everything that I know of Betsy, Daisy, Grace, Janos, Zuzanna, Countess Bathory, etc. were all on a superficial level. I never understood their mindset/motivations. In a sense, I only read of their roles in the story and not the people behind them. There were no true connections and those that were present, for example between Betsy and Daisy and Betsy and John, weren’t developed well enough to buy what was between them. And I was especially disappointed in the way Countess Bathory was written/presented. Considering her infamous and gory history, I wanted a more expanded narrative of who she was, an exploration of her psyche and what induced her to commit such vile acts and to really take the opportunity to develop these epic scenes involving her. And yet, she really only directly occupies 25% the book and the rest of the time either mentioned indirectly or in passing. If you’re going to present yourself as a story revolving around Countess Bathory, I would expect a bigger presence from her.These issues that I have mentioned are really more of the symptoms of the main problem: the book never had a definitive sense of identity. I wasn’t sure whether it’s a psychological exploration into cults or fantasy involving reincarnation. The fact that it’s a historical fiction story is the only thing I’m certain of. Its prologue with the mention the legend of the Taltos and the threat they pose to the Bathory family led me to believe that some form of magic/superstition interplay will be involved. However, it’s mentioned towards the end and really plays no role into what happens. This is just one of many instances where your thinking is led towards a certain idea but it never comes to fruition. It all just left me feeling confused and uncertain about what was going on (i.e. the issue with Daisy and Morgan, who Count Bathory really was, were Daisy, Betsy and Morgan reincarnated people from the Countess’ time?). There was never any true explanation about what was going (or it was done half-assed) so I was never sure of what exactly happened. Even in the end, there were no explanations or definitive resolutions and it was all done in a quick fashion that still left me in the dark, shaking my head.As a fan of historical fiction, having Countess Bathory as the heart of a book excited me, thinking about all the possibilities the story could have. Therefore, it was disappointing at what Lafferty produced in this book. It was just plain and predictable without any personality. I’ve read one other book from Lafferty, The Bloodletter's Daughter: A Novel of Old Bohemia, which I actually did like and had some of what I wanted in this book. I had hoped that her other works would be even better. Unfortunately, it went the other way around. This book as a whole just left me indifferent and confused. I hate giving one stars and have been fortunate enough not to do it often, but I cannot honestly give this book any higher of a rating.

  • Jennuineglass
    2019-03-13 00:15

    This is my second novel by Ms. Lafferty, the first being The Bloodletter's Daughter and I have to say I am quite taken with her. Her one sentence writing style descriptor would be that she is the literary love child of Philippa Gregory and Anne Rice (minus that unfortunate born again Christian phase that Ms. Rice finally abandoned in 2010). Gregory and Lafferty have both made names for themselves by writing historical fiction about the women of the past. Interesting people in their own right who have been relegated to a single chapter or footnote in the overview of European history. Only Lafferty, unlike Gregory, chooses the dark and sinister stories of the bad girls of history. As I mentioned in the prior review, Ms Gregory is vastly more thorough in the "historical" portions of her heroine historical fiction. Resulting in books that, some would say, or more respectable than Lafferty's works. However they are equally enjoyable in my eyes. But for you to enjoy them, you should be comfortable leaving the perfumed pomp of candlelit dining halls and gardens to descend into the darker recesses of the castle where the rats scurry away from the darkest of human traits. In this book Lafferty takes on the history of the Countess of Bathory, a descendant of Vlad The Impaler, whose antics terrorized the inhabitants of Čachtice, Slovakia in the early 1600s. There are two major plot lines in this book one, one being the present and the other being the past. Going between the two is effortless and creates that wonderful sensation of whipping through the chapters because you want to get back to the other story line to find out what happens next. And then repeat for the OTHER story line. Resulting in a very quick read. Overlaid on the whole book is a heavy dose of the idea of a "collective consciousness", which made me smirk because a friend and I have discussed this many times into the wee hours of the night. Collective consciousness was an idea proposed by the legendary Carl Jung, and Lafferty uses one of his titular works, The Red Book, to galvanize her characters around the concept that there are no coincidences and that dreams and thoughts can be passed on via the subconscious rather than through more direct lines of communication. If you prefer rational fact based communication this can, at times, make the story line feel forced or have your skepticism getting in the way of your reading enjoyment. But delightfully, she throws a character in there that has the same sort of skepticism which I appreciated as it provided a sort of Greek chorus to acknowledge all points of view. All in all an enjoyable, though somewhat sinister, read. Good enough that I will probably pick up yet another of her novels in the future when I'm in the mood for something a bit gothic.Happy reading!

  • Elena
    2019-03-10 00:33

    House of Bathory was quite a let down for me. It was one of the 2014 historical fiction releases I was most curious about, but then I sort of forgot about it and got to read it only in 2015. Unfortunately, in this case I can't say I regret not picking it up sooner.The book is not awful, but it did not work for me at all. The plot follows two different storylines: the first, in our days, tells the story of psychoanalyst Betsy Path and her patient, Daisy Hart; the second, in the early 1600s, is about Erzsébet Bathory, a countess who tortured and killed countless young women. In my opinion, Erzsébet Bathory is one of the most disturbing and intriguing historical figures. Whether you believe she was a monster, or that her actions were mostly exaggerated so that the Crown could take hold of her properties, she is far from being boring. And yet, the Countess does not come alive in this book: to be honest, she feels most of the time like a secondary character. She is nothing more that the classic villain from fairytales: she is cruel and mad, but we never get to read some explanations for her actions. She simply has no depht. The other characters did not impress me either. Betsy is quite flat; Daisy is a little more interesting, but she made such foolish decisions all the time that I ended up barely tolerating her. The only one who seemed a little more complex was Morgan, but she was barely developed; and the only character I genuinely cared about was Zuzana, (view spoiler)[and of course she died. (hide spoiler)]Probably because of my lack of interest in the characters, the plot did not involve me either. It is not completely slow or eventless, but it just did not grab me. In the end, the only things I appreciated about the book was the setting and the references to Jung's philosophy. I am not overly interested in those, but they added an original, clever touch to the plot. If you are into philosophy you might want to try this book; however, if you are really interested in Erzsébet Bathory, you will most likely be disappointed. To be fair, I think the Countess is a highly difficult character to tackle, and I have yet to find a book with her that completely satisfied me. However, I would recommend books by Charlie Courtland and Kimberly L. Craft (both fiction and non-fiction), which give a more complex, three-dimensional view on the Countess.

  • Darcia Helle
    2019-03-04 05:29

    This is one of those books that is very difficult for me to rate. It's written in two distinct parts - 17th century historical fiction and present day suspense. While these two storylines are woven together and alternate throughout the book, I feel like I need to rate and review them separately. First, the book centers around the real life Countess Bathory, or the Blood Countess, who lived in Slovakia during the 1600s. This historical aspect is incredibly well written. I felt like I was there in the castle, witnessing the horrendous conditions, the torture, and the desperation. I was emotionally invested in the characters and their story. The modern part of the story, for me, is not nearly as interesting. The premise of these characters' story - of this entire book - is synchronicity. Put simply, this is a Jungian (psychology) theory where two or more events are connected, despite having no causal relationship. The use of synchronicity here leans a bit into the paranormal and is the thread tying the past to the present. While an interesting theory, it didn't make for interesting characters. I never felt connected to them, didn't totally understand their motives, and didn't always believe their actions. One area where the book really fell apart for me came with Daisy's character. She plays a key role in the modern story and I did not find her at all believable. I don't want to give spoilers, so I'll just say that I found this especially troublesome toward the end. I wanted to scream, "Where are this girl's parents?"I didn't like the end at all. It felt too chaotic, with too many characters all converging in order to tie everything up neatly. Again, I didn't find most of these events at all believable.Overall, I think perhaps the story became bigger than it needed to be. Kept as historical fiction, this would have been a fascinating, 5-star read for me. But there were far too many characters and not nearly enough of the modern story to make an impact, and the book suffered because of that.

  • Sue Thompson
    2019-03-21 05:20

    I was disappointed by this book, I wanted it to be so much more than I got. Elizabeth Bathory is a historical figure who borders upon legend, there are so many stories of her bloodiness that it is almost impossible now to separate the fact from the fiction. Due to this I expected the book to focus a little more on her bloodthirstiness (for want of a better word) I expected a little more horror than there was. Elizabeth Bathory is a character where you could truly run wild with the story telling, but this seemed a little restrained and most of the “horror” was implied. I’m not exactly sure why but as I read this, I couldn’t help visualising Bathory as Disney’s Cruella DeVille.I did enjoy the time slip aspect of this book. As a rule I adore books that take place in more than one time period. Betsy Path and Daisy Hart in the modern day to me felt as though they were lacking something, their personalities appeared to be almost painted on. The use of Jung in the story, although I’m not particularly knowlegable about psychology, it did add a bit of extra intelligence to the novel which I feel it needed.I’m afraid I won’t be rereading this.

  • Stacy
    2019-03-25 21:45

    An amazing, horrifying story about the notorious Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Having just finished the book, I am still in shock over how evil a person can be, and how much horror they can inflict on other people. I recommend this book for readers 18+ who enjoy historical fiction, but it could also very much be seen as a horror novel.

  • Alisha Tarran
    2019-03-23 01:17

    Not many people are aware of a historical figure in the 1600's called Countess Elizabeth Bathory, also called the Blood Countess, who ruled the Cachtice Castle in Slovakia. She murdered hundreds of girls during her odd rituals held at night in the castle grounds. Girls from the village looking for work would go to the Castle, and never be seen or heard from again, rumours of their torture and murder swirling through the locals, along with one chilling proclamation....that Countess likes to bathe in their blood to retain her youthful skin and looks. 400 years later Betsy Path, a psychoanalyst with some intuition, has a break through with one of her patients. Daisy Heart, the sullen, self proclaimed Goth, is haunted by the past, chilling dreams of a castle and blood. Betsy and Daisy struggle to understand the relevance it has to the presence and what is causing the dreams. But then Betsy's mother, Grace, who happens to be a historian, goes missing in Slovakia when researching her new book, which just so happens to be about the Countess herself. It turns our Betsy's father may have been murdered, Path may not have been his actual surname, and he had a secret he was hiding from his family. Betsy's father hid something that her mother's kidnapper and her father's murderer wants...a certain ledger written by the Countess detailing all of her 612 victims names. As Betsy, Daisy and her Betsy's ex-husband John journey to Slovakia to try to find Grace, something becomes chillingly apparent as the pieces slot together, the Bathory blood line lives on, and is just as cursed and evil as it was 400 years ago. I was intrigued by the draw of the Blood Countess, as the story of her and what she did was mentioned in passing in a history lesson. She's been named as the basis for Dracula along with Vlad the Impaler and you can kind of see why. I have expanded the blurb I have given as the original doesn't clue you in to all you get in the story. I enjoyed the flicking between past and present, it was done very well and flowed smoothly from one time to another. The book was fairly fast paced, yet I found myself slogging through, as intrigued as I was. It just seemed to me that there was quite a bit of pointless information, and while the subject matter and the mystery where interesting it just lacked a certain something to make me really pay attention and make the reading of the book easier. I found the beginning of the book very bland and boring until the last 2 parts or so, when things finally started to heat up and get interesting and there was a bit of action going on. There where some holes in the story and stretches that made the book seem very dragged out. I freely admit I ended up skimming instead of properly reading towards the middle of the book. I feel like the Countess's character could have been explored more, and the opportunity to dig deeper in to the Countess and who she was, and why she was like she was and so on was really ignored. I was more intrigued and engrossed by the mix of history and fiction all blended with history of the area. The modern day part didn't really interest me all that much, the characters didn't engage me as much as the historical ones, nor did their plot line interest me as much. The situational Drama throughout the modern narrative was just at times irritating, at others pointless and hard to swallow. It has to be said though, the book is truly chilling in some places, with the details not being too gruesome to make it unreadable, but gruesome enough to kind of make you get slightly creeped out. To give Lafferty credit, it appeared to be well researched, even if certain opportunities where missed, and it was a very chilling blend of mystery, history and murder.

  • Brittany
    2019-03-14 04:31

    House of Bathory was extremely intriguing. I was hooked and excited only 3% into the book. Usually stories that take place in the present as well as in the past have something missing, they just don't fit together. Lafferty proved that past and present could indeed be melded together to create a fantastic story. This tale didn't snag at all. The tale was weaved together so well that I sometimes forgot if I was in present time or past. The times effortlessly melted into each other. I have even become excited about doing further research on The Red Book by, C.G. Jung, which is a book that is mentioned extensively in House of Bathory. I love books that make me want to research further into what inspired the author in the first place. House of Bathory, follows the tale of Erzebet Bathory, the action takes place in the tale is similar to what is seen in the movie The Countess, starring Julie Deply. (Which honestly is all that I know about Erzbet Bathory.) The past and present occur simultaneously, following the life of Besty Path a psychologist living in 2010. House of Bathory is a tale of interconnectedness, dreams, and madness. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think that others will too.This review was originally published:http://cozycornerandcafebookreviews.b...

  • Maggie Jaicomo
    2019-03-21 02:22

    I really wanted to like this book. And with that being said, I thought it was a quick and interesting read. I liked the way the characters intertwined and the timelines matched up. However, the ended seemed a bit abrupt and left me with more questions than answers. The character development in some cases was lacking. Not necessarily spoilers but, I wanted to know more about Daisy/Morgan/Dad relationship; what really happened there? How were Daisy, Morgan, and Dr. Path all in the same bloodline when they weren't related by blood or was this just a convenient way to make the story-lines match up? Then to toss the wedding in there at the end? And was Kyle really necessary to the story or was it just another unnecessary romance? I personally also wanted some more detail, more grotesque storytelling from the Countess. That was a unique case in history and should have been looked more deeply into. The author skimmed what the Countess did and seemed scared to really dive into the gory details which would have made this book more engrossing.So I guess if you're looking for a quick and interesting historical fiction book which will leave you with more questions than you started with this is the book I'd recommend.

  • J. Morgyn
    2019-02-27 03:34

    The House of Bathory is a loose retelling of the famous Blood Countess story in the makeup of a light present-day thriller. What hooked me initially was the use of past and present chapters. Part of the story is set in the 1600s Slovakia and part in present day Colorado. The other hook was the early discussion of Carl Jung discussion of synchronicity. Hooked, I plodded on. A few times I considered quitting. Neither storyline is desperately compelling. The check-your-brains-at-the-door factor enters here and there, but is really a common theme in the latter half of the book set in present day Slovakia. The Countess is never a main character. The historical Slovakian characters are not deep enough. They are historical figures given faint life. The modern characters have more dimension. Jung is pretty well dropped mid-book and then thrown in at the end to tie up loose threads.What I did enjoy was the obvious research Lafferty did to make sure the details were in place both historically and at each present day location. Her writing style is pleasant to read. Without that I fear, I wouldn't have finished it.

  • Q2
    2019-03-12 01:32

    I got this as a Good Reads giveaway. This book was super suspenseful and intriguing. I didn't know anything about Jungian psychology or Countess Bathory but this book was the best history lesson! The characters (those from the past and the present) are all caught up in the disgusting legacy of Countess Bathory--the Blood Countess. Bathory is famous for her numerous murders--she was basically a sadistic madwoman. This is a great book to get lost in. My only critique is that some plot points seem forced and contrived, like when one character is forced to stay behind (for no good reason) and is miraculously in the right place at the right time. The author also drops some revealing personal details about certain characters near the end (incest? what?) but doesn't really tie up that storyline. Other than that I really enjoyed this book--interesting, educating, and kept me on the edge of my seat.

  • Tara Chevrestt
    2019-03-18 21:33

    I really enjoyed this author's version of 1001 Nights, so when I discovered she was releasing a book about Countess of Bathory--or so I thought--I was all over it.I made it to page 200 before I made the mistake of setting it down. I needed a break from the word GOTH. And so, I set it down...and then, I couldn't bring myself to pick it back up. I realized I didn't want to read any more about Daisy, didn't want to see the word GOTH anymore, couldn't stand or understand the Jung crap, and didn't care. There also wasn't enough about the Countess, her psych, to keep me interested. It's mostly about Jung, some very weird man who drew weird pictures and wrote weird books.A miss for me. It wasn't what I expected. It's not so much a historical fiction, or even about the Countess, as a book about Jung and his idea of...synchronity. Can't spell it.

  • Doroty Ellis
    2019-02-25 01:38

    I'm having mixed feelings about this book.I loved the retold part of the story, the modern story didn't resonate with me through. The characters lacked development and closure, we don't really get to see what happens to them.The chapters alternated between past and present in a choppy way that was hard to follow. Also the overuse of the word Goth, and Jung was irritating.I would recommend this book to Erzsébet Báthory fans and people who are interested in psychological thrillers. This copy was provided by publisher via Netgalley

  • Zoe Shelley
    2019-02-27 22:45

    Although at the beginning I enjoyed it, eventually it was driving me a little mad. I have never ever taken so long to read one book. Eventually, I hated it. The word "Goth" appeared a stupid amount. I get it, she's a goth and I definitely do not need reminding every chapter, paragraph and sometimes sentence that she is included in!!! It's an OK written book but I doubt that I will ever recommend or even re-read it.Overall, I didn't like it. The ending was a little rushed. And a bit ridiculous. Now to find something else what makes me completely forget I've ever read this!!!