Dracula is a name we generally associate with vampires. With pale faced, black cloak wearing, fanged, blood-suckers. Bram Stoker introduced us to that version of Vlad Dracul and the image has become a part of our history.
Vlad Dracul however was a very real person and the Dracula Chronicles by Victor T. Foia looks to tell his story.
The back cover reads as thus:
You could say the book is biography as Vlad Dracul was definitely a real individual. The people in the story; his father, brothers, tutors, etc.; were real people. However this book could also be categorized as fiction, which is where I actually came across this book in my local library.
Dracula Chronicles (the website for the book series) says the author spent nearly 40 years researching for these books. Of this I don’t doubt as the first book is chock full of references to actual persons and events. However using even the most basic of internet research tools – ie. Wikipedia – one can tell that the truth was stretched ever so slightly. That is beside the point though as I do not care to discuss the historical accuracy of this book.
I prefer instead to concentrate on the dramatic elements of Son of the Dragon, and that is where this novel in my opinion shines. The talk of a prophecy given nearly 100 years before weaves its way through the story. It touches nearly every character and whether it will indeed become truth will hopefully be seen in future books. The very reality of war also weaves itself through the book and at time it can be easy to side with young Vlad with his headstrong ideals while at other times one prefers to side with his father and practice constraint.
Foia does not skimp on the harsh realities of life in 15th Century Europe. Survival was harsh, rulers were often cruel, those who had did as they liked and those who did not were often the ones to suffer. The few battles and subsequent deaths are given decent description and don’t descend in to gore as some novels tend to do. The same goes for the two incredibly brief sex scenes. A few brief paragraphs and fade to black.
All in all Son of the Dragon was a book I rather enjoyed. I read through it in five days and I’m fairly sure if it weren’t for work and other Real Life commitments I would have read it in half that time.
For a realistic historical novelization, this is one I would recommend and I’ll be on the lookout for the second novel.
Dracula Chronicles: Son of the Dragon (Volume 1) – On Amazon