Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Dracula Chronicles: Bound by Blood (Volume 1) by Shane K. P. O'Neill

Note: This book is suitable for adults only.

The Dracula Chronicles: Bound by Blood
(Volume 1)
by Shane K. P. O'Neill

The Dracula Chronicles: Bound by Blood was released on 1 December 2012. This is actually the third book in The Dracula Chronicles series, and it is published in two volumes. Volume 1 will be FREE from 3:00 am 22 February (EST) to 2:59 am 25 February (EST). Volume 2 is also available. Books 1 and 2, The Gates of Babylon and Descent to Darkness, are yet to be released. Books 4 to 8 are also in the works.
Look out for my previous blog post about the Prequel to this series, The Dracula Chronicles: Birth of the Monster. You can also read my interview with the author in another blog post. Please note that this series is adult fiction. The series is historical and set in a brutal age, and is therefore quite brutal in parts. It also has a fair amount of erotica content.

The Dracula Chronicles is the brilliant and terrifying new concept of Dracula. It is an epic journey through the ages where the forces of Light and Darkness struggle for supremacy until the Second Great War, as foretold in the Book of Revelations. This bitter feud began after the creation of mankind. Lucifer’s jealousy leads to the First Great War of the angels. Hundreds of thousands of years on the feud simmers beneath the surface. It plots the course of history as we know it today. Both sides manipulate the major players through the centuries to seek an advantage over the other. 

On a cold night in December 1431 in Sighisoara an old gypsy woman delivers a prophecy to the great Vlad Dracul. She tells him he is about to sire two sons, one an angel and the other a devil. He returns to his fortress just as his wife bears him a son, whom he names Vlad. In the very same moment across the country on the border between Transylvania and Hungary a gypsy girl gives birth to another son, Andrei. The die is cast. The twin souls are born. The young Vlad Dracula becomes the instrument of the forces of Darkness. To balance this, the baby Andrei is blessed by the angels and bestowed with awesome powers.These chronicles are their story.

Book Trailer

Chapter 14 - November, 1494. Dracula’s oldest living enemy, Vintila Florescu, sits alone at home awaiting death. His son and heir, Victor, has been murdered and his head sent to him in a box.

The men paused to reflect on their conversation.  Florescu had heard enough.  He stepped away from the window and sat down in his chair.  It was the most plausible explanation for what had happened.  But to murder his son and then send him his head?  That was personal and indicated a real grudge.  Could his nephew dislike him that much?  It gave him plenty to ponder. 

He gazed at Victor’s head where it had spent the last four days on the table in front of him.  His tears had long dried up now.  They would do Victor no good.  He was a broken man.  If Death were to call, he would be welcomed.  He sighed hard and then, drinking the last of the wine in his cup, he drifted off to sleep.

His dreams took him back to another time.  He was much younger then.  Dead bodies littered the streets from the fighting.  Smoke hung over the city from the buildings that burned in the aftermath.

A woman stood naked at the gallows.  A rope hung around her neck.  He grinned at her, though she did not seem afraid.  Even then as her moment of death was upon her she showed only strength.  She stared at him, her eyes full of hate.  He hated her as much, but secretly admired her resolve.

Her face remained engrained there in his mind.  He pushed her down naked on her bed.  The bed she had only ever shared with her husband.  He forced her to watch in the mirror, as he took her from behind.  Holding her by the hair their eyes met in the glass.  The first silent exchange of hatred passed between them.

He then sat in a chair.  One after another his men took turns with her while he watched.  He loved every one of her cries though she fought hard to stifle them.  Pound the Draculesti whore his men encouraged each other.  One at a time they did.

Her face remained there.  Purple and swollen it turned as the rope tightened around her neck.  Her legs dangled free, kicking aimlessly against the cold night breeze.  A tongue black and swollen protruded from her mouth.  Her eyes bulged as the noose slowly choked the life out of her.  Yet still they burned into his.

He turned his focus on a man much younger than he.  A son crushed by the image of his mother dangling from a rope.  One who had already brought himself much honour on the battlefield.  Battered and bruised, he looked up defiantly.  On his knees he cursed them, each and every one.

Florescu looked down at the hot coals nearby.  He picked out an iron, its metal red and glowing.  A thousand sparks flew against the darkness when he blew on its tip.  The young man eyed it with fear.  He struggled against those who held him down.  It did him no good.

He pressed the hot iron against soft flesh.  A loud hiss followed by the most horrible scream.  Then silence as the molten iron ate through all in its wake.  Flesh and bone melted into one.  He saw a blinded convulsing body thrown down into an open grave.  It was an image he could not escape.

By aobibliophile™ 
"There is a reason why all things are as they are." - Bram Stoker, Dracula

Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, of the House of Drăculești, becomes a pawn in the age-old battle between good and evil. In his attempt to return to Heaven and dethrone God, the fallen angel Lucifer sets his plans into motion. He grants Vlad immortal life as a vampire and commands the Voivode of Wallachia to wage war against the Catholic Church no matter what the cost.

Author Shane KP O'Neill blends facts, folklore and myth and goes beyond them in creating a darker and more plausible account of the Dracula legend.

Spanning centuries, this outstanding debut is rich in detail. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Vlad Dracula schemes his way and manipulates well-known historical figures in his attempt to bring down the Catholic religion. Niccolo Machiavelli, the Borgias, Martin Luther, Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn are some of history's famous men and woman whom Dracula befriends and wittingly destroys.

This novel is not for the faint of heart so be forewarned. Although the language is very graphic and there are some sexual situations that may shock some readers, they are necessary to the plot. This is a tale of darkness after all yet there is also hope and goodness among its pages as well.

Overall, this an engrossing and entertaining book that will delight readers who love historical fiction, vampires or a combination of both. I was impressed by its scope and I highly recommend it. Moreover, I look forward to reading the next chronicles.

About the Author
Shane O'Neill is the writer of The Dracula Chronicles, a new and exciting series adding a new dimension to the Dracula myth. He has begun the series with Chronicle 3 to give his readers the vampire first. Chronicle 1 will follow to take you back to the beginning.
The author developed a fascination with Dracula from an early age. Like many others he was enthralled by Christopher Lee's portrayal of him on the big screen. It was in his late teens that he discovered Dracula the man and the love affair began from there. An avid historian, he studied the period in which the real historical Vlad Dracula lived, 15th Century Balkan, for many years. It followed from there then that with his love of writing he would always choose Dracula as his subject.

Away from writing, the author has a wide range of interests. He has lived and travelled all over the world. He has a love for all things historical, with a particular fascination for medieval Europe. Anywhere he travels he likes to search out locations with an historical interest.