19 Oct




“Cambridge prep school teacher Michael Feraru was tired of his life, tired of his job, and — though he didn’t realize it — tired of Sophie and her safe, undemanding love. So he took a sabbatical and went to Romania, to claim the property his grandparents had abandoned after World War II. Once there, he discovered he was a titled lord and owner of an ancient stronghold in the Transylvanian Alps, Castel Vlaicu.”

This blurb, from LibraryThing, makes Aycliffe’s book sound lame. It’s not. Far from it. We follow Michael as he makes his long journey into a hauntingly dark and frightening gothic horror that is the Romanian countryside. Jonathan Aycliffe presents us with a razor sharp edge to which we are politely requested to walk upon.

This book is an epistolary novella as well as a journal. Letters and entries that begin in innocence take on a sinister tone the closer Michael gets to his family’s bastion. We descend with Michael into the long and dark abyss as he encounters one monster after another. Helpless to intervene we watch in terror.

Aycliffe likes to mess with our minds. We don’t want to like him or his characters, but he flips us off our game and we don’t even see it coming ….. until it’s too late.

If you like Dracula, Transylvania, vampires, and other things that go bump-in-the-night, you’ll like to read this one in a fire-lit room on a cold dark and windy night.


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