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Vlad the Impaler: The Man Who Was Dracula by Sid Jacobson
Cover Artist: Ernie Colón
Review by Gayle Surrette
Hudson Street Press Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781594630583
Date: 15 October 2009 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Most people who are fascinated by vampires have at one time or another run across the belief that Bram Stoker based his Dracula on the historical figure, Vlad the Impaler. Sid Jacobson tell the story of Vlad's time as a hostage to the Ottoman Empire, his retaking of his family's throne, and his years as its ruler. Vlad the Impaler is still talked about with a shiver at the acts he committed on his people and his enemies and in this non-fiction account you'll understand why.

The times were brutal enough when Vlad was a youngster. But being turned over by his father as a hostage with his younger brother, filled him with a desire to return home and get his revenge. When that time came, he found that he had no rules to follow but his own.

Jacobson words with Colön's illustrations do more than words alone could to show just how violent and cruel a time this was. It wasn't enough to kill an enemy, he had to suffer and Vlad was inventive in his torture to achieve maximum suffering prior to death's release. The people of his kingdom feared him as much as his enemies.

Vlad the Impaler will give you the basic overview of the world and time in which he lived. You'll learn much of the political background that created such a tumultuous state of near constant war. While Vlad's barbaric methods are horrendous, he did much to stabilize his power and won some peace for his people. But he constantly saw enemies around him and no one felt safe whether from his enemies or from him.

This is not the neat and lovely love story that began Dracula, starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder (1992), but you'll see echoes of it in the story of his marriage. Jacobson manages to pull the facts from the fable and fantasy in a coherent and well-researched look at the history of Vlad the Impaler: The Man Who Was Dracula.

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