Sunday, January 20, 2019

#BookReview: History's Greatest Villains: Dracula by Bernard Swysen & Julien Sol

Biographic Fiction
Historical Graphic Novel

History's Greatest Villains

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Everyone knows about Dracula the vampire, but have you ever heard of Voivode Vlad Dracula of Wallachia? Perhaps you know him better by his nickname: Vlad the Impaler! The bloodthirsty prince was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s notorious character, but although the real Dracula gained infamy for his favorite method of execution—impaling—few know the true details of his life. Swysen and Solé have created an intimate and accurate portrait of this vicious tyrant, allowing you to follow his journey from childhood to death, with guaranteed laughs along the way.

I like the idea behind History's Greatest Villains: Dracula by Bernard Swysen & Julien Solé, but the execution proved a poor fit for my tastes.

I felt the concept of a graphic biography intensely creative, but I also found the humor of this volume tonally awkward for the subject matter it covered. My primary comment, however, is that the author offered little aid to readers who aren’t already familiar with Voivode Vlad Dracula of Wallachia’s story.

The narration jumps from one point to the next, referencing people, politics, and places at a blistering pace. I did not feel the novel offered enough historical exposition to understand the cast's motives, movements, or culture. That oversight left me feeling less than satisfied with the overall story and hard-pressed to recommend the book to other readers.

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley
Read: January 20, 2019

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