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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn



Title: The Dead Travel Fast
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Mira
Format: Paperback
Price: $13.99
ISBN: 9780778327653
How I read it: Paperback from Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 Crowns

Synopsis: A husband, a family, a comfortable life: Theodora Lestrange lives in terror of it all...
With a modest inheritance and the three gowns that comprise her entire wardrobe, Theodora leaves Edinburgh - and a disappointed suitor - far behind. She is bound for Rumania, where tales of vampires are still whispered, to visit an old friend and write the book that will bring her true independence.

She arrives at a magnificent, decaying castle in the Carpathains, replete with eccentric inhabitants: the ailing dowager; the troubled steward; her own fearful friend, Cosmina. But all are outstripped in dark glamour by the castle's master, Count Andrei Dragulescu.

Bewildering and bewitching in equal measure, the brooding nobleman ignites Theodora's imagination and awakens passions in her that she can neither deny nor conceal. His allure is superlative, his dominion over the superstitious town, absolute - Theodora may simply be one more person under his sway.

Before her sojourn is ended - or her novel completed - Theodora will have encountered things as strange and terrible as they are seductive. For obsession can prove fatal...and she is in danger of failing prey to more than desire.

My Review: Those of you who are familiar with Deanna Raybourn's work know how she can create a gripping story that easily pulls you in, and this one is no exception. For those who have not yet read her novels, I hope to persuade you to do so as soon as you are able.

When I first heard that Deanna was going to write a novel that did not feature her beloved Lady Julia Grey, I was disappointed to say the least. I should not have allowed myself to doubt her, because this is certainly on par with a Lady Julia novel. While it started off a little more slowly, I soon found myself wrapped up in the characters and unwilling to put the book down. I even once looked over at my empty water glass, and though I was thirsty, I didn't want to take the time to fill it.

True to her style, Deanna manages to keep you reading through an immense build up - are there really vampires and werewolves in this land? Who will their victim be? What is real and what is sprung from myth? No joke - a third of the novel had passed with nothing but legends of the land, yet I was still so tense I had to take small breaks to calm myself.

Count Dragulescu is as mysterious and dangerously sexy as a leading man, and you want to warn Theodora away...mostly so you can have him for yourself! Their romance is forbidden and exciting, one of those slowly moving seductions I love to read about. You never quite know - is he in love with her? Or is he just trying to ensnare her for some overlying evil scheme?

This is a great mystery and romance all wrapped up into one. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next - both around the castle and between Andrei and Theodora. As an independent woman with a romantic heart, Theodora must make choices that will shape the rest of her life - which may be shorter than she had ever imagined...




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7 comments:

Holly said...

Love Deanna Raybourn the Lady Julia books! I have this one but haven't read it yet. It sounds fantastic though so I'll be bumping it up to the top of the pile. Great review!

Angiegirl said...

I really enjoyed this one, but it was the ending that really did it for me. LOVED it. Made the whole book. I'm glad you enjoyed it, too.

Mystica said...

I just picked one of her books yesterday from the library. Its one of the earlier ones with Lady Julia. This one sounds different.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Oh I've wondered what this one was like. I've read a few of her lady julia books and loved them. I'll be checking this one out definitely!!

Michelle said...

I went to school with the girl on the cover! She's a model (obviously haha)and posted the cover/original photo on her facebook page. Kinda cool seeing it on a blog!

audreygeddes said...

This one looks excellent - thanks for the great review! I've been to Edinburgh and through its castles. What an amazing place. Right now I am finishing another intriguing read by Michele Marie Tate that you might enjoy called, Blood, Money, Power. The story follows the corrupt lives of one family for three generations beginning in 1920. The story draws you in and I could not stop reading in order to find out how their legacies would be broken. I can't wait to read this author's next one.

Crystal - Princess of Pop Culture said...

Holly - It was really good, I'm so glad I made time for it in my reading schedule!

Angiegirl - The ending was definitely fantastic, though I do wish she had plans for a sequel! I love when a good book has a sequel to it!

Mystica - This is different from the Lady Julia series, but I think it is equally good. I love that series too!

Mistress of the Dark - I think anyone who likes the Lady Julia series will like this one...it's on par with the best of those!

Michelle - How exciting that you went to school with the cover model! I love personal connections like that :)

Audreygeddes - I would love to tour castles in Europe, it would be a fantastic experience. And thanks for the book recommendation, I'll have to check it out!