I've long believed that good historical fiction fires the imagination and provides ideas for scenarios in our hobby. I've also had a long-term interest in the history of Eastern Europe and the waves of Ottoman invasions during the late Medieval era, especially that related to the historical Vlad Dracula and the Myths that surround him and the environment he lived in, as can be seen in my original "Wolfen" diorama;
I recently stumbled across a series of books that tick all the necessary boxes for me. There's two in the series so far.
Volume 1 is "Son of the Dragon";
Here's a excerpt from a review on Amazon;
Every once in a rare while I stumble on a book where, once I start reading, I find myself itching to get back to it whenever it's not open right in front of me - including after I've finished it. This is one of those books. What makes it more notable than your average page-turner is that the author, Victor T. Foia, is a novice novelist who's managed to just really nail it the first time.
I'm a history afficionado and if you are too, you should definitely check this book out. Without a trace of dryness, Son of the Dragon is an impeccably researched, historically faithful portrait of a fascinating place and time: 15th Century Wallachia (part of present-day Romania) during the Ottoman-Hungarian Wars when it sat nervously wedged between the land-hungry Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, to which Wallachia was culturally closer but not exactly a paragon of good will and fraternity. This was a time of gypsies and kings, crusaders and jihadis, dark castles and darker forests replete with robbers and wolves - real-life archetypes for the fairy tales we all know, not to mention the Dracula vampire legend itself. All are masterfully brought to life by Mr Foia.
The historical yarn alone would have been enough for me. But as a horror fan, I loved this book as well. This is not a horror story, but you'll certainly get your fill of fear and spurting gore (like I said, it's never dry). And after reading it you may want to go back to your favorite "traditional" Dracula adaptations with the new perspectives you've gained. In fact, my next read is going to be Bram Stoker's "Dracula", which I last looked at when I was about 15.
If you're neither into history nor horror but just like a good read, I still recommend this book to you because it has everything a good story should have: an engaging and down to earth style, sophisticated, intriguing characters, drama, suspense, danger, humor, lust ... plus it's a coming of age story par excellence about no less a personage than Vlad the Impaler.
To be continued in my next post....