1442: When Vlad Dracula arrives at the court of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II, his life is turned upside down. His father Dracul cannot protect him; he must battle his demons alone. And when the Sultan calls for the services of a soothsayer, even the shrewd teller of fortunes is unprepared for what he learns.
Meanwhile, the Ottoman Turks are advancing through the Balkans with Vienna in their sights and Constantinople, the Orthodox Greek capital, within their grasp. As Eastern Europe struggles against the tide of a Muslim advance it cannot counter, Western Christendom needs only one prize to overthrow its enemies. – Blurb
BRONZE PRIZEWINNER AT THE INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER BOOK AWARDS 2017 FOR BEST EUROPE FICTION
Released: November 10, 2016
The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer by Lucille Turner is paranormal fiction presented as a historical novel. This is excellent and intelligent indie writing at a nice and hefty (and importantly, necessary) 486 pages.
I highly recommended this book to fans of supernatural or historical fiction, even if one of those genres isn’t usually your thing. Each character is fascinating and the settings are tangible.
Despite being set around war and conflict, there’s a real lack of action, which is a positive in my opinion. In many ways, this book reminded me of the first season of Game of Thrones where, unlike the books and the later seasons, we’re aware that fighting is going on but we don’t have to sit through the boredom of every punch and stab.
I much prefer the scheming and back-stabbing that we see through the dialogue and slight actions of the characters. Having said that, I wouldn’t have minded a few juicer scenes in this book… perhaps the odd swift murder or even sex scene.
I feel this would have fit in quite nicely with the overall tone of the book. The actual vampire stuff that you’d expect from the title and theme of the book is very minimal and this works surprisingly well.
LUCILLE TURNER’s first book, Gioconda, was published by Granta Books in 2011. A novel about the life of Leonardo da Vinci, it went on to win the Hislibris prize for historical fiction and was translated into several languages. She has a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature and has worked as a translator, a journalist, a teacher and a book reviewer. She lives between Bournemouth and Nice and blogs about historical fiction at www.lucilleturner.com.
“With a multifaceted narrative, diverse characters, and stunning historical detail, this book is completely absorbing. The author stirs together history, myth, political intrigue, and religious conflict to create a gripping, expertly researched story. Was it a curse, a medical condition, or the simple fears of local farmers that led to the legend of Count Dracula? See what you think after reading. Highly recommended.” THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY
I’ve decided to play around with my ratings for this review and use a letter rating system (I am a teacher after all), so The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer gets a well deserved A-.
Lucille Turner kindly sent me a paperback in exchange for a 100% honest review.