Manual Transforming Spirits (The Blood Countess Chronicles Book 1)

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As he gets older it becomes much easier to like him as he starts to realise that the way he behaved before was wrong. I loved the relationship between Will and his brothers so was very pleased to realise that this is the first book in a series and that we will get to see more of them all together. I didn't expect to like Ellie's romantic rival Lady Jane but I actually found myself feeling quite sorry for her and the way men seemed to only be interested in her for her dowry. It will be interesting to see how things play out for her in the next book.

If you're a fan of YA historical romances then I'm sure you will enjoy The Other Countess as much as I did and would highly recommend giving the series a try. Feb 10, Tasha rated it it was amazing Shelves: William Lacey is the new Earl of Dorset. Left with a title but not the fortune, Will must make amends for his father's mistakes if his family is to regain their status.

His only means to do so is to attend court and find wife with a hefty dowry. Ellie Hutton is the daughter of an alchemist who spends every penny on his studies. Despite being Lady Eleanor Rodriguez of San Jaime, a title inherited from her late mother, Ellie is more akin to living in barns than fancy dresses. Circumstances leads the William Lacey is the new Earl of Dorset.

Circumstances leads them both to the court of Queen Elizabeth I and despite a harsh meeting in their younger days, Ellie and Will find themselves attracted to each other. However, both know it is impossible for them to be matched as Ellie is far from the rich wife Will needs. The author does a great job of setting the scenes in this book, with just the right amount of description to make you feel like you're there without going to far.

The plot is largely character based, focusing on the relationships between the characters. I really loved the characters in this book. Ellie is a fiesty, spirited sixteen-year-old who's had to deal with a lot in her life. She's been exposed to all walks of life and is equally able to be friends with the village girls as she is the ladies of the Queen's court.

Ellie's intelligent and educated in a time when this wasn't the norm for women, although Ellie hopes to impress the queen, who appreciates learning, with her Latin translation. It was easy to like Ellie right from the start of the book, her difficult relationship with her father bringing the reader straight on her side.

At the start William is seen as cold and arrogant, largely due to his opinion of Ellie's father but as the story continues it is makes sense why he's like this and as we get to know him more he's really quite endearing. As the eldest son and new earl, he's had his life dictated to him and there's much he has to do to ensure his family regains their fortune which will allow his younger brothers to have a good education and a decent dowry for his younger sister.

He has a lot of responsibility placed on his shoulders for an eighteen-year-old and he mostly handles it well. He has two aspects to his personality; The Earl of Dorset is almost like a character he puts on; strong and noble. Will himself - when he's with his family and friends - is the likeable side of him.

This is when he's funny and sweet and, at times, nervous and scared in an adorable dorky kind of way. There's a good set of supporting characters as well. The younger Lacey boys, James and Tobias, provide a fun element to any situation with their brotherly banter. Lady Jane Perceval, daughter of the Earl of Wetherby, is both rival and friend to Ellie whilst her brother, Sir Henry, is a bit of a bad guy - taking advantage of the ladies and their maids and basically doing whatever suits him. With an interesting plot and great characters, this book is bound to keep any historical fiction fan hooked and it is well deserving of its comparison with any Philippa Gregory novel.

Oct 02, Kristen Kooistra rated it it was amazing. I absolutely loved this book. I have a hard time finding a good Elizabethan era book to read anymore since a lot of them are just respinning the lives of the main players of that period. But in this one it's almost a completely new cast with just some glimpses here and there of famous figures. So it was a new story, set in a time I love, but without me going into it knowing the people and the way things play out.

There were two points I thought tripped me up. Near the beginning, Will makes a stat I absolutely loved this book. Near the beginning, Will makes a statement about how education is wasted on a woman. But never again does that come up. From that point on he seems completely fine with educated women and I thought the original remarks should've either been cut or there should've been a moment where we see Will reconsidering his beliefs and changing them. And then I thought Will's switch from preparing to throw the alchemist and Ellie out to having them stay was sudden.

I mean, he was really angry that they were there. Said we need to get rid of the pests. Stormed down their in a dudgeon and had no qualms about telling Ellie they needed to leave and soon, despite knowing that she's not her father and they had nowhere else to go. But a small altercation with Ellie where she tells him that makes him completely okay with them staying and his attitude towards them became a lot more positive.

But the rest of the story was amazing. Ellie is a countess who has nothing but an empty title to her name. She's dragged around by her alchemy crazed father, living off the not so much kindness, but similar madness of strangers who think her father is on to the secret of gold. They're first kicked out of their home when Will takes over after his father's death and there's a good amount of bad feelings between the two families. Years later, Ellie and Will meet again, only Will doesn't recognize her. Eventually he figures out who she is and there's some backlash from that.

Half of the story is geared towards their time at court and bumping heads, and the last half is where the real romance swoops in as they're now in a more settled environment. One of my absolute favorite parts about this is how Ellie and Will realize what is best for them isn't what's best for Will's family, and try and put Will's family first. It makes me admire both of them more for not being like "Screw everyone else. There's also this touch of humor throughout and that was handled well. I love seeing even the slightest bit of humor in fiction because a book that brings out emotions like that in me already rate higher.

I had a few things I wanted to see at the end, but I'll just have to go get book 2 now! Feb 18, Tammi rated it really liked it. The Other Countess is exactly the kind of book I enjoy: Ellie is the daughter of an alchemist and her father has ruined himself and gone half-mad in his fruitless pursuit of gold. He's also taken others down with him, namely the father of Will Lacey, who dies leaving his family near-bankrupt. Will blames Ellie's father entirely for the mess and The Other Countess begins with a furious Will chasing both dad and daughter off Lacey land.

Flash forward a few years and Ellie is now a beautiful young woman, attached to a family at Queen Elizabeth's court. Will comes to court to try to do the only things that will help his family: Win the queen's favour and hook himself a rich bride. But guess who he meets It's not difficult to predict what will ultimately happen in this light and charming tale, but what it lacks in surprises, The Other Countess more than makes up for in great characters and a swoon-worthy romance. Ellie is fabulously feisty, but also a very dutiful daughter and you can't help but feel sorry for her, being saddled as she is with a father who is completely oblivious to everything how much he is mocked and hated, how poor they really are but his alchemy.

Will is very Mr Darcy, in the sense that he starts out as so snooty and mean to Ellie, but just when you are about to write him off as an irredeemable asshat, he comes to his senses and apologises so beautifully and makes it up to Ellie so heroically that The supporting characters are super, too: Will's brothers and their teasing banter-filled relationship, and Lady Jane, the rich girl Will has picked to marry. One thing that actually did surprise me about The Other Countess was the amount of humour in it. Will's siblings are pretty fast with the jokes and Lady Jane has a scheming maid whose sexcapades are played for laughs, but even the serious subplots - which involve the religious complications of Elizabethan England - are lightened up with some funny lines.

All this adds up to a lighthearted and pleasing read: A 16th century rom-com, you could say. Eve Edwards has written more romances for the Lacey family the next books are The Queen's Lady and The Rogue's Princess and I am really looking forward to reading them.

Light Versions of Romance.

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Thanks to her "Alchemist" father's endless pursuit of turning base metal into gold, all Ellie has is a worthless title and herself to offer in marriage. As the daughter of a failed Alchemist and a Spaniard mother, her chances of making a match, let alone a good match, are slim to none. As her feisty spirit captivates the elite in Queen Elizabeth's Court, she finds unlikely friends in unexpected places but among Based in England in this is story of Lady Eleanor "Ellie" Rodriguez of San Jaime. As her feisty spirit captivates the elite in Queen Elizabeth's Court, she finds unlikely friends in unexpected places but among the courtiers there are some that despise her father for the trail of financial ruin that he leaves in his wake.

One of which is the Earl of Dorset, William Lacey. Ellie's father financially ruined the Lacey Estate when William's father caught the "gold" fever. Now it is up to William to make a good match at Court and restore the family fortune. But his eye has been caught by a beautiful yet elusive countess at court.

Unknownst to him that same mysterious countess is the same beggar brat daughter of Sir Arthur Hutton that he had banished from his lands after his father's death years before. If William discovers the truth it will be the beginning of Ellie's downfall and William will find more than one dilemma on his hands as he questions his motives and beliefs.

Although it was an ok read the story seemed one massive cliche and you get the feeling that it all has been done before. I got the feeling that maybe, with a few twicks here and there the story would have better suited as an adult romance novel but ended up as romance "light" for a younger reading auidience. The synopsis was intriguing and was what had originally sucked me in but the story was somewhat of a let down as you could pretty much tell how things were going to work out and what was going to happen as it happened.

Ellie goes through trial after trial because her father's misguided pursuits and self centered nature, which after a while does get a bit irritating so you end up wishing he would just blow himself up and free poor Ellie from being continually dragged down with him. But for all it faults, it was an Ok read. Who knows, maybe the sequel The Queen's Lady will redeem the series? Feb 27, Rebecca rated it it was amazing Shelves: Sixteen-year-old Ellie Hutton also known as the Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime, a worthless Spanish title she inherited from her mother is the daughter of an alchemist obsessed with his craft.

He hopes that if he can Sixteen-year-old Ellie Hutton also known as the Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime, a worthless Spanish title she inherited from her mother is the daughter of an alchemist obsessed with his craft. It is at the court of Elizabeth I in that Ellie and Will meet again.

Dandelions in the Garden

Ellie and Will are instantly attracted to each other - and horrified by that fact, as a result of their past history. Their attraction eventually develops into love, but Will is forced by his duty to his family to court the Lady Jane, a wealthy young woman with a large dowry. The Other Countess is one of my favorite books so far this year. Ellie and Will and all the other characters were very well developed and I liked all of them. The historical setting was really well researched and highly detailed. I highly recommend this book to readers who love historical romance or stories set in Tudor England.

Apr 09, Christina A Reader of Fictions rated it liked it. I completely adored this book. Of course, I'm a sucker for period pieces, but, hey, this was definitely a good one, even coming on the heels of Grave Mercy. Ellie is a fantabulous, feisty girl. She is well-educated and doesn't conform to society's expectations of her. If someone tries to take advantage of her or lie to her, she calls them out on it and defends herself. Her dad is seriously frustrating. If I were her, I would have left him behind ages ago if possible.

She feels a loyalty I completely adored this book. She feels a loyalty to him, even though he's always neglected her for his alchemy. On the one hand, I do admire her for this, but it's also sad because she's so strong and commanding when dealing with other men but so weak to her father.

No one can mess you up like your parents! Books like this you don't really read for the plot. Obviously, it's about romance and you pretty much know what essentially is going to happen from the opening pages. However, that's no problem if the journey is a good one. And, oh my, but it is. I loved that Edwards added in some serious historical elements, like the religious persecution in Elizabethan England.

Plus, I totally dig the Shakespearean flair the romantic shenanigans have. The story also follows, although slightly less frequently, Lady Jane. Based on her introduction, which has her falling prey to the seduction of an obvious rake, I expected to loathe her. However, I came to like her too. She's no Ellie, of course, but beneath her exterior, she's just a person longing to be loved like the rest of us.

Besides, it's no wonder she has become so cold on the surface with everyone after her money and only her awful brother for company. Apparently, the next book, The Queen's Lady, will continue on with her story. Thank goodness for that, because I was really disappointed not to read her happy ending! Moving on to book two posthaste! Apr 29, Sophie rated it it was amazing Shelves: Historical fiction is a little hit and miss with me, but The Other Countess was definitely a hit.

And, boy did it! The mix of a historical setting, a lovable heroine and fabulous romance swept me up and carried me back to This is without a doubt a novel for the romantics i. But they were also intellectually matched and shared brilliantly witty banter. Eve Edwards clearly did her research before beginning this novel. The Other Countess is packed with intricate details of life in Elizabethan England. Though I loved The Other Countess , it was also agony to read. All of the characters fell in love with the wrong person who were highly unlikely to be as a couple in society at this time.

I have a feeling that this is going to be a favourite series of mine. Jul 15, Kelly rated it liked it. Will Lacey's father drove the family to the brink of poverty before his death, so now it lies upon Will's shoulders to bring his family back to wealth by marrying a rich lady. So Will goes to the Queen's court, where he sets about trying to find a wife, but there he bumps into Ellie, a gorgeous witty girl that he's instantly attracted to. But Ellie has nothing but her title, being that her father has spent every penny of their fortune, so it's impossible for them to be together, isn't it?

Hist Will Lacey's father drove the family to the brink of poverty before his death, so now it lies upon Will's shoulders to bring his family back to wealth by marrying a rich lady. Historical fiction is not a genre I tend to read that often as I'm not a huge fan of the 'olden days' way of talking. So that coupled with a slow beginning of The Other Countess meant it took me a little while to get into the book, but once it got past the Queen and court section, I was pretty much gripped by the story of Will and Ellie.

They were both great characters to read, and I was rooting for them all along, even though I also loved Jane, and was kind of torn about who I wanted Will to end up with. The story flicks between the perspectives of Will, Ellie and Jane, so you get to see all different levels of living within that time which I found really interesting, and I thought it was all so fantastically written. I'm really looking forward to the second book in the series The Queen's Lady, which will be about Jane, so I will definitely be picking a copy up!

Definitely recommended to fans of period books, or just a good old romance story. I'm a bit of a history buff so one of the genres I love reading is historical fiction, I like being able to forget my surroundings and be transported back in time to a different era. One of the things I loved about 'The Other Countess' was the rich descriptions and historical detail that Eve Edwards has skilfully intertwined around the story.

The setting is and we're treated to appearances by notable historical figures such as Queen Elizabeth, Walter Ralegh and Robert Cecil. A great deal of I'm a bit of a history buff so one of the genres I love reading is historical fiction, I like being able to forget my surroundings and be transported back in time to a different era.

A great deal of time has obviously been spent on researching the tudor period which really shows in the detail and accuracy. The whole period is evoked in the language, story and characters and I was absorbed completely. The scenes between these two characters are what really made the book for me, particularly the way their relationship evolves in the latter-half. I love all the sweet endearments he has for her - darling and love, and the way he's often there to give her support when she needs it the most.

Some of the moments they shared made my heart start to pound!! Although the story started off a little bit slowly, it soon picked up the pace and from then on I was utterly engrossed. If you love historical fiction with a big dollop of romance then this is the book for you. Aug 15, Jo Mixed Book Bag rated it really liked it. Young adult books are not what I usually read. I wondered how young adult historical romance differed from adult historical romance. Here is what I found. One big difference was the age of the two main characters.

The amount of explicit sex is another difference. While sex is not ignored in The Other Countess the amount is more like adult romance books 30 years ago. There is a hint and then the characters move out of sight. Age the characters and add some explicit sex and The Other Countess could be an adult historical romance. I liked the story. The historical content was good. Eve Edwards used court life and the religious problems of the time to move the plot forward. Both the fictional and historical characters were well drawn. All in all I think both young adults and adults will enjoy the story.

The Other Countess is the first book in the Lacey Chronicles. Nov 08, Hannah-Linn rated it it was amazing Shelves: I never read historical. There's something about it that just never really appealed to me before, and I don't know by. Because I'm all for sexy dramatic romance crap. I seriously, loved, his novel though. I think it was amazing. It was just so romantic. Will and Ellie were so romantic. It was sweet and sexy and tragic and everything.

I think I have a new thing for historical. I was always more of a paranormal romance person, but I guess there's a first time for everything. I was browsin I never read historical. I was browsing the young adult aisle at the bookstore and I picked this up and I was like "I want this one.

Which I also don't usually do. It usually takes me a really long time to decide. It ends happy, I'm just going to say that right now. Not giving anything away, but it was a sweet ending. An existence that presides over Elizabeth's dark side. There is none of the amiability she once possessed; the lifetime that simply pursued blood with cruelty is being represented by the alias of Carmilla. Unlike Elizabeth, there is still room for correction although there is no room for forgiveness. An atrocious being through and through. Unmistakenably an anti-hero, if circumstances allow her to be summoned, it would probably be by a dark killer on the same level as her.

The female vampire Carmilla, as if melancholic, possesses a charming beauty, and this novel provided a great influence for Bram Stoker 's " Dracula ". Elizabeth has taken into her possession some power of the Dragon Kind due to her Innocent Monster Skill, but that was lost due to Carmilla taking the form of a complete vampire. Furthermore, Elizabeth is merging with this identical existence she hates.

Elizabeth thinks " I will not become like her ", and from the perspective of Carmilla, Elizabeth is from the figure of her glorifying her absolutely intolerable youth. To put it simply, from Elizabeth's side, " Such an incomplete thing that cannot grow accustomed to being an idol is not my future self and should die!! Compared to her younger counterpart, all portions of Carmilla's body has grown splendidly in abundance. Every factor of her life, such as her livelihood as a noble that spanned many years, her contempt for humans except for her fellow blood relatives due to being hardened by them, and so forth, all pushed the former Elizabeth into a bizarre killer.

Haughty, proud, and extremely arrogant, her body is coiled around with every vanity; it is like sulfuric acid turned into human form. Touch her, and all things will be inflamed immediately. And yet, stupidity exists at her core——to put it another way, it is possible to say that she has a faint goodness within her that just barely stops her audacity. Naturally, Carmilla will betray a clearly bad Master, and she will even embrace the recognition of being called a traitor.

But still, even if she does not go as far as to serve, if it is probably a Master with a bottomless goodness, one who is aware of, and furthermore, accepts her past, in that case, she will appear to become willingly cooperative. She who became Carmilla is completely incompatible with Elizabeth, and the two have a relationship of trying to kill each other. This is because the young Elizabeth is refusing to become like Carmilla, while for Carmilla, Elizabeth is an intolerable symbol of enjoying youth while indulging in ignorance. In regards to the Holy Grail , Carmilla will probably wish for eternal youth.

Finally then, she might truly regain her figure as a composed bureaucrat. Although the victims of that process might end up being completely ignored. Is it not thanks to that vampire that you are here? They are both defeated, but managed to survive. Carmilla is finally defeated in the final battle between the Protagonist's party and the forces of Jeanne Alter by her younger version, Elizabeth Bathory , and the Protagonist.

As Ritsuka Fujimaru , Mash Kyrielight , Kiyohime come upon her, she struggles to clean a particular floor stain, and eventually she loses patience and uses Phantom Maiden to destroy the stain. After complaining about the noise outside, Carmilla is startled by the group's presence, having not notice them while she was cleaning. She is then asked by Mash why she is so upset over cleaning, to which she reveals Elizabeth ordered her to.

The Other Countess (The Lacey Chronicles, #1) by Eve Edwards

Furthering revealing that the Grail is in the castle, she is asked by Kiyohime to lead her and the others to Elizabeth. However, Carmilla refuses to do, saying that role is to entertain the guests. After the group defeat the monsters then her in the ensuing fight, Carmilla seemingly begins to disappear after complaining Elizabeth for singing and dancing.

However, she is stopped by Kiyohime, who tells not to slack off from cleaning by pretending to be dead, which cause her to cry. Carmilla confirms Mash's suspicions about their current location, and says that they're in her castle, the Castle Csejte. She tells the others not wonder off as their chances of escaping are extremely low, and tells them to simply relax and wait.

The Lies about Elizabeth Bathory Revealed

Finding the smell of blood so dear to her, Carmilla refuses to leave, but Ritsuka says they'll escape despite the castle's bloody history. Deciding to follow Ritsuka's orders, Carmilla and the others go forth to escape the castle. However, to Carmilla's surprise, the walls transform into golems, which are then destroyed by the group. Continuing to search for an escape, the group eventually encounter the ghost of the girls that were murdered in the castle. Carmilla refuses to feel guilty about her past, but states it is understandable that they brought into the castle for revenge. However, she calls the ghosts foolish for bringing Ritsuka and Mash into castle, who nothing to do with her past, and states that the ghosts are no better than her if they curse all of the living.

I find it dramatic and engaging, but there are a few to many typos. All in all, I am thorughly enjoying myself. It is FUN to curl up with this book! I guess the reason for this is the writing style; you are physically drawn in. I am a little scared That happened to me recently, and it makes me nervous to even open my mouth. But hey, it is the whole reading experience from page one to the final sentence that is important.

This is exactly that. View all 45 comments. Jan 26, Jen Knox rated it really liked it. OK, so, this book opened up a dark door in history for me, one that I will most definitely return to out of sheer morbid curiosity. I think this is what the author was going for, and she accomplished it! Countess Erszebet Bathory is the subject, though the narration of this book is done by a friend, Amara, who seems desperate to cling to old ideas about her sociopathic gal pal. The thing is, as much as this book piqued my interest about the Countess, I was far more invested in Amara.

I liked this character and had no problem sticking with her for over pages. This is no easy task, as this is the e-age and my attention span is waning. I love books, but tend toward those under , that I can read in two or three days time. The care and precision that went into the scenic details of this book deserve applause, and I was completely immersed in the word. I will say that I felt a little cheated in areas, a few scenes were mentioned that could've been drawn out look at me, wanting even more pages--a rarity!

I heartily recommend this book! And I will be reading the sequel. View all 4 comments. Apr 14, Jo Wun rated it really liked it. I read Bram Stoker's Dracula as a teenager while visiting an aunt and uncle who lived in an old cottage in a hamlet in the east of England, complete with thatched roof, crooked floors and creaky stairs. Probably an unwise choice of bedtime reading, I succeeded in scaring myself half witless, and came to suspect the wizened old man living next door was not all that he seemed.

I read the eBook version of Dandelions in the Garden by Charlie Courtland on my smartphone, which perhaps goes to show that I read Bram Stoker's Dracula as a teenager while visiting an aunt and uncle who lived in an old cottage in a hamlet in the east of England, complete with thatched roof, crooked floors and creaky stairs. I read the eBook version of Dandelions in the Garden by Charlie Courtland on my smartphone, which perhaps goes to show that we do sometimes live and learn. But although it features Elizabeth Bathory, a descendant of Vlad Tepes, who was the inspiration for Stoker's Dracula, it is not a horror story in the traditional Dracula mould.

It's not without horrific scenes though, several characters meeting a grizzly end, and some aspects of the story might be considered quite shocking, in that behaviours we modern humans consider unacceptable are presented as quite normal. But, of course, attitudes in Europe four hundred years ago were somewhat different. If I had to write a one-sentence review it would be this: A cracking good tale full of all the ingredients which make a good story -- adversity, conflict, emotional highs and lows, love, sex, violence and a few surprises.

Historical purists might find the use of modern language off putting, but I found it made the characters into people I could believe were real. But more than that, I was able to put myself in their shoes. I'm not entirely sure that all of the views expressed by the narrator are consistent with the period, but I was able to overlook that because it brought an extra perspective to the tale.

However, a few typographical and suchlike errors seem to have slipped through the editorial net, which bounced me out of the flow when I came upon them. I'd have been thinking about awarding 5 stars if it wasn't for that. I don't know if all, or any, of the events depicted actually happened, but if you like a good story, well put together, then that will matter as little to you as it did to me. There is a deeper level to it, in that it is an illustration of the truth of Lord Acton's words "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I still haven't figured out the relevance of the title of this one, but I'm certainly looking forward to reading the second book in the series. They were together from the time they were young girls until after Elizabeth's trial. This is her account of what really transpired, as dictated in a manuscript intended for Elizabeth's grandson. Reading these books, I realized neither is a stand alone story, or even books in a series.

They are two halves of the same story: I can see why, the first is over Amara Borbala was the lady-in-waiting companion to Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess. I can see why, the first is over pages while the second is It is a long story, but quite a fascinating one. The first volume starts with Amara first joining Elizabeth and covers up to right before Elizabeth's reputation as the Blood Countess begins.

The second volume details Elizabeth's exploits and her downfall. The story is more than just Elizabeth's though. Amara takes centre stage and much of the story focuses on her as the narrator. This is especially true in the second volume when Amara begins to distance herself from Elizabeth. I found both volumes fascinating. The second volume is much darker, as can be expected. The first was much lighter as the girls were much brighter, happier and more adventuresome in their youth. Something I found interesting was the feeling of age in the narration.

It was easy to distinguish which sections were written as Amara as an old lady. The feeling of these sections was much older than the narration of her youth.

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As the narration progressed, the tone definitely matured and aged. I thought this was very well done. Overall, I was impressed with the story. I would recommend it to fans of historical fiction. With the warning that you need to read both volumes back to back to get the full story. Jan 30, Nakota rated it it was amazing. Interesting historical fiction set in Vienna time period. Characters Amara and Elizabeth defy authority to survive in a time when men ruled and women were chattels.

The Other Countess

Story of love, desire, lust, cruelty, suspense, and intrigue. Some content for mature readers only. Story told by Amara spanning her childhood to old age. You will love and hate the characters. From the first page to the last, you are caught up in the lives and sorrows of the women and men of this story.

A story the grips you int Interesting historical fiction set in Vienna time period. A story the grips you into real life drama, frightening and descriptive, bold, sexual desire, cunning wiles of the women, fierce men warriors all hold you on the edge as the story unfolds. Can not wait for the sequel 'The Hidden Will of the Dragon'. Jan 30, Randall rated it it was amazing. Story of Countess Elizabeth Bathony as told by her long time friend Amara. Historical fiction set in Vienna. I gave this book 5 stars.

Well written, keeps you in suspense. Very descriptive, never boring, easy to immerse yourself into the characters lives and the time period they lived. I recommend for the Mature Adult reader. Can not wait to read the next book in this series 'The Hidden Will of the Dragon! Jan 13, Alex rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm so excited to read this!!!

I just won this in a "First-Reads" auction, and can't wait to get my copy in the mail. I loved this book! And I am so happy I now have an autographed copy. I really enjoyed the character of Amara, and seeing Elizabeth through her eyes. Elizabeth's descent into madness was so subtle, as she slowly started to get more evil as the years passed.

The only bad thing? Now I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the sequel. Apr 26, Katherine Marple rated it liked it. Charlie Courtland's writing is astounding in that she can take me into the storyline and make me care deeply for her characters. Every character is flawed in some way, just as every person is flawed in real life. Every character has their strengths as well as their downfalls, just as all humans do. Courtland knows this and she portrays these details well.

Dandelions in the Garden is about Amara's re-telling of the story of Countess Elizabeth who was said to have been evil to the core and had dran Charlie Courtland's writing is astounding in that she can take me into the storyline and make me care deeply for her characters. Dandelions in the Garden is about Amara's re-telling of the story of Countess Elizabeth who was said to have been evil to the core and had drank the blood of her servants.

Amara is an old lady at the beginning of the story, trying to pen her memories for a descendant of hers. The entire book is set in the s I believe while she tells the story of a descendant of Dracula. The story was well crafted, the writing was superb.

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  7. There were just many typos that drew away from the story enough to demote my original 4-star rating. If you can look beyond those, then you will have no trouble devouring this novel, part I of a two part series. We follow the two young ladies, Countess Elizabeth and her lady in waiting Amara as they grow from childhood, age 11 to the end of the story when they are both in their mid-twenties.

    There isn't a whole lot of gore in the book I wish there was more, considering the back text which really piqued my interest , but it is written well enough to be memorable, for the characters to be memorable. Good book, good story. Can't wait to find out what happens in Venice! May 10, Elena rated it liked it Shelves: As it can be expected, the story revolves around these two women well, first very young girls and then women , while the other characters, even if quite well depicted, are not very well developed.

    This could have been a weak point of the book, but luckily the two female protagonists are enough well depicted to immediately capture the reader's interest. Elizabeth is a fierce, fascinating character. She is treated in an atrocious way in her youth, being forced to marry a brute man and give up the child she had with her first love, but that does not make her an innocent, positive heroine.

    She has a lot of darkness in her, and I think the author did a great job portraying her that way, because you can feel she is not a very decent person, but at the same time you cannot help but root for her and admire her strenght. I also loved that, through Amara's point of view, we can see Elizabeth very closely, but never completely: Amara is an interesting character as well, and her point of view is very nice to read.

    She is a strong woman just like her mistress, and has a very modern way of thinking, which was very entertaining to read. At the same time, however, I found this characteristic a little too unrealistic at times. For example when, at the age of only 13, she speaks so freely and sometimes so rudely, especially with men. Another great thing about this book is the relationship between Elizabeth and Amara, as well as their differences and similarities.

    They have a lot in common: Amara is Elizabeth's good side because, even if she is capable of strong feelings like her mistress, she rationalizes and controls them, while the other sets them free. Of course, by doing this Elizabeth becomes more and more uncontrollable and immoral, and Amara does not try to justify her, but at the same time she stays by her side because she truly loves her.

    The only reason I give this book 3 and not 4 stars is because of the writing. Don't get me wrong, the style is lovely: Unfortunately, this style gets a little lost in the rest of the book. The thing that bothered me the most, however, were the many errors in the time tenses: Still, this is a book I greatly enjoyed, and I look forward to reading the sequel. Jan 23, Brian rated it it was amazing. An exceptional story which I enjoyed immensely. The author excels at all the important elements of creative writing.

    The character development is excellent and I could picture each one in my mind easily. The plot is well constructed with many twists and turns that unlike most books I could not foresee. By the authors footnotes and my own love of history books, much research is injected into this story. Also the narrative is most interesting as the story is not related in the first person. I know that women had pitiful rights back in the 's and the only way to have a good life is to marry into nobility. Nobility really means wealth, prestige and power which is well reflected in the book.

    The story is about two main characters, Lady Amara and Elizabeth Bathory among many others. All marriages back then that included nobility was prearranged. Elizabeth refused to marry within the confines of a prearranged marriage and wishes to marry for love. She became bitter that her first love and her first child is taken away from her and forced to marry Francis anyways. She became disillusioned and as time went by she used her prestige and wit to revenge anyone who wronged her. She became very interested in torture and from the many castles she lived in constructed rooms to torture people just for fun.

    An interesting twist is near the end her companion throughout the story, Lady Amara, discovers Elizabeth is kin to Vlad the Impaler. There is much more in the second book in this fascinating two book adventure. A very talented author. Recommended to any reader despite their preferred genre. Dec 21, Alyne Winter rated it liked it. The opening was really intriguing, but when I arrived to page after page of blow-by-blow descriptions of sex, I felt the story began to lag.

    The sort of "feminist"charcterization of Erzebet also felt a bit off, but I am willing to go with that if I like the story. It's fiction, after all. I was also beginning to be afraid that the story was going to become I got this book because I was interested in what other authors were doing the Bathory Legend as I used in my Gothic Fantasy Roses of the Moon. I was also beginning to be afraid that the story was going to become graphically sadistic--I did not continue on, so I can't critque the story beyond this point--maybe I was wrong.

    I know the Bathory legend is sadistic, but I prefer these kind of horrors to take place to off-screen. I prefer mystery--but that's my taste. Tortures and things give me nightmares. I was curious about the author's sequel to this, but never made it. Every thing about this book was absolutely wonderful!

    Full review to be posted on literaryescapism in the near future!

    See a Problem?

    Jul 29, Jill rated it liked it. It was extremely distracting and detracted from my enjoyment. Who is the editor anyway? Seriously - they need to be fired! Jul 12, Megan Underwood rated it it was amazing Shelves: Now I want to learn everything about Elizabeth Bathory Jul 07, LitAddictedBrit rated it liked it Shelves: One of the reasons I love to read historical fiction is that I like to learn more about other cultures and countries while enjoying a good story!

    Now, before you think I believe every word of the fiction I read, let me assure you that I often finish the novel and read up on the history behind it - my way of gently broadening my historical horizons This book was no exception - I hav One of the reasons I love to read historical fiction is that I like to learn more about other cultures and countries while enjoying a good story! This book was no exception - I have learnt much more about Hungary in the 16th century than I knew before.

    Largely because I formerly knew nothing Anyway, this one is another of those deliciously intriguing areas of history where there is still some debate over what happened. Although the Countess was imprisoned for the monstrosities she was accused of, she was never actually tried, which obviously means no court testimonies or similar to base her guilt on. It's a morbidly fascinating case and that is translated into the book brilliantly.