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Two women separated by five hundred years, each with a secret - the infamous ‘Blood Countess’ (1560-1614), notorious for bathing in the blood of six-hundred-and-fifty women in Renaissance Hungary and Transylvania; and the woman driven to re-write her story in the present - an academic who lives in and out of time because of a near death experience and who escapes ruin at the hands of rival scholars desperate to see her and her world destroyed at any cost.
But Bathory’s story will be told! Not as a murderer or a dark witch, as history would have us believe today, but as a woman who became a subversive printer and smuggler of banned books, rocked the religious foundations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire with only a band of faithful refugee women to help her, and who’s revolutionary ideas would challenge even the Emperor himself! Bathory’s modern day chronicler becomes the cipher of this secret history, uncovering the real life of the Blood Countess. What she doesn’t know is that the Blood Countess is rewriting her across time…
Based on 100s of hours of original historical research, this novel is transformational account of not only of the infamous story of the so-called Blood Countess, but a searing exploration of what history is and what history does to women.
“Quantum physics made very sexy.”
“Imagine one of Virginia Woolf’s speculative biographies told through Karen Barad’s quantum physics. It is a remarkable and adventurous account of the written word. Truly a novel for our time whose beautiful narration and style continues to haunt my thoughts like the countess herself, days after reading.”
"This is a richly atmospheric novel. It is packed with political intrigue, torture, questionable morality, greed and treachery. It overflows with thrills and mysteries and dark fantasy with characters falling through the very fabric of time itself.
It is a gripping story from start to finish with the complexities of the plot adding layer-upon-layer of suspense. It is also an indictment of the way women across the ages have been ill-treated.
A tour de force of epic storytelling. 5 stars."
The Blood Countess is now available!
© ANNOUCHKA BAYLEY - 2023