In this fantasy romance for all ages, a boy catches a glimpse of Fifika, as he flees with his family from danger, traveling with his clan with haste to the lands of the boyar, a mysterious benefactor. Smitten, the boy becomes her playmate there in the Carpathians where the boyar resides and whose hillsides are filled with enchanted beasts. The boyar assures the clan that the beasts are harmless unless provoked, but some of the members are not so sure… When tragedy visits Fifika’s family, the boyar invites her and the boy into his castle to learn from his English tutor, a lazy and fearful man. The boy, now almost a man, falls deeply in love under Fifika’s tutelage. – Goodreads
I’m never keen on re-writings of books (unless executed exceptionally… think Angela Carter), but In the Service of The Boyar simply uses the story of Dracula as a base and then chooses a new angle to approach from. It’s a nice little tale which stays interesting from start to finish. Jason Graff manages to create effective visual scenes without relying heavily on adjectives and needless description. I think adults who enjoy dark fantasy, light horror, or historical fiction would get the most from this book, but it’s also suitable for teens and young adults.