Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Fourth Bride – review

Author: Carole Gill

First Published: 2013

contains spoilers

The Blurb: After the tragic and sudden death of her groom, Dia, cursed by Dracula as a babe, is taken to his castle. Once there, she is seduced and turned by the count, and she becomes his fourth bride. The other brides are to be her sisters, and they are all to love and feed upon one another. As her master says: "The joy is in the blood...the passion is in the blood...endless life is in the blood...!"

And so she finds it is.

Dia's tale is full of erotic sex and graphic violence. It is a tale of love and lust but mostly of blood, for the blood is everything.

The review: When I read Carole Gill’s The House on Blackstone Moor I was taken with the fact that she wrote a very gothic prose but merged it with a nastiness aimed at her primary character that was reminiscent of Clive Barker.

This is the fourth book of the series, but whilst it uses the characters of Louis and Rose as a jumping off point the book itself concentrates on a new character, Dia, a young woman cursed from birth to be the fourth bride of Dracula. It is a brave move, certainly, tying her series into that of Stoker’s masterpiece and, in many respects, it is a natural fit as Carole Gill has always had Satan as the source of vampirism and has tied in Dracula’s education at the Scholomance with another mainstay character Eco.

If I had a criticism, however, it is this. The author writes a fantastic victim and this worked so very well in the first book – when the primary character was human. With the primary character being a vampire I was less comfortable with the “female victim”. It was ok when she was under the thrall of Dracula (or another powerful vampire) but I was less comfortable with the vampire being the victim of human men too. There was an in-built layer of misogyny and I would like to see the author write a strong female lead, one who isn’t the victim and doesn’t need rescuing by a man (vampire or human). That is, perhaps, for another book.

That criticism aside (and I hope it is taken as constructive) this was more rounded as a book than the third volume and took an interesting route by attaching itself to the Dracula mythos. 7 out of 10. Note the review was based on a complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

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