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In the early 1600s Elizabeth Báthory the infamous Blood Countess ruled Čachtice 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 youth400 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 nowThe 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 lifeInspired by the actual crimes of Elizabeth Báthory The House of Bathory is another thrilling historical fiction from Linda Lafferty The Bloodletter’s Daughter and The Drowning Guard The novel carries readers along with suspense and the sweep of historical events both repellent and fascinating

10 thoughts on “House of Bathory

  1. says:

    Buddy read with Athena Actual rating 35 stars I'm rounding up see review below to understand why I chose toI spent most of the book oscillating between and It was GLORIOUSThe ending just made me This is going to be a very difficult review for me to write so please bare with meFrom page one Miss Lafferty sucked me in I LOVED how 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 personAs 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?? Waitshe's continuing left WTFTURN RIGHT TURN RIGHT Thenit endedI 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 meThis 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

  2. says:

    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

  3. says:

    Find this and other reviews at 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 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 uiver the book itself is a modern day mystery with supporting historic contentTo 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' characterThe 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 resolutionNow 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 presentHighly creative but not at all what I expected

  4. says:

    I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest reviewHouse 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 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

  5. says:

    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

  6. says:

    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 hopedI'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 peopleThe story also was just amazing and dark And very exciting not knowing what was going to happen next or if my favorite characters would surviveI loved how it jumped from the 1600's to 2010 and how everything fit together I just love books like thatThere 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 wayAnother 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

  7. says:

    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 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 uite 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 piued my interest and I will most definitely be seeking out further information on Elizabeth Bathory and the crimes she committed

  8. says:

    25 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 classThe 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 bookOverall 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 information on the countess I guess but this book failed to tell me what I didn't already know through wiki

  9. says:

    This author had been recommended to me so when I saw this book pop up on Netgalley I asked to review itI 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 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 thatthis 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

  10. says:

    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 ueen 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 uivering 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 uestion 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 uestions 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 than storyline or characters We'll see if it gets better but I am definitely not going to elevate my hopesFinal verdict two stars feels generous