WARNING: This book is very graphic. It contains extreme violence and murder. This book is NOT for the faint of heart.
A while ago I read a fictional book about Elizabeth Bàthory and upon discovering she was a real person and not just a fictional monster I became fascinated with the Countess, so when I saw this book available on Netgalley I requested it immediately.
Anna Darvulia suddenly becomes responsible for keeping her family financially stable during the winter after the sudden death of her father. In order to provide for her family, Anna starts working as a scullery maid for Elizabeth Bàthory. Eager to gain the Countess' favor and gain a better position with better pay, Anna does whatever she has to secure herself. She finds herself getting attached to Elizabeth and believes her feelings are reciprocated. Elizabeth takes Anna and treats her as her equal, making sure she has beautiful gowns, dines with her and even shares her bed with her. At first Anna believes the two of them share a special connection, one no one else understands. She soon learns that Elizabeth isn't who Anna thought she was. After witnessing extreme acts of violence and murder Anna tries to find a way out before Elizabeth decides she's next.
I enjoyed the majority of this book so much. The writing was so detailed and capturing. The violent scenes were extremely graphic and hard to read, which is perfect for an Elizabeth Bàthory story. The plot line was so well done. The flow of the book was great. The characters were interesting to read about. They successfully expressed string emotions of fear, hatred, lust and naivety. It all fit together perfectly and before long I was caught in its grasp with no desire to put it down.
I was completely wrapped up in this story... Until the ending. For me, the ending seemed like it could of been from another book. Nothing about it fit the story. The characters personalities and actions didn't fit with the characters from the first 95% of the book. It was abrupt and felt like the author just made the two main characters do a full 180 turn just so the story could be wrapped up and finished. It didn't work for me at all and ruined it for me. It was really disappointing because of how good the rest of the book was.