From Transylvania With Love ~ Book Review of ‘The Dead Travel Fast’ by Deanna Raybourn

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on August 11, 2010 0 Comments

The fate of Theodora Lestrange is an issue to her Edinburgh relatives.  Even though Miss Lestrange is a published author that doesn’t mean much in 1858 when respectable women were supposed to yearn for marriage, motherhood, and yet not really like the thought of having sex.  Her grandfather who raised both she and her sister has just died and she is now living with said sister and brother-in-law (a man that didn’t allow his wife to go to her grandfather’s funeral because she was in the family way).  Theodora knows that there isn’t much room or resources for her in their home.  The fact that she isn’t willing to marry her older, but smitten, publisher is info that she is only willing to share with her sister lest it cause a row between she and her husband.  Unbeknownst to them until the last moment Theodora is a lady with a plan which is to travel to see a former school chum who is about to marry her cousin, Count Andrei Dragulescu, in Transylvania.  She is hoping that the stories her friend Cosmina told her when they were young will inspire her to write down the bones sort of speak. 


                What she finds when she arrives to the Count’s castle is a Countess, her niece Cosmina, a few servants, a doctor that lives in the nearby village, and an assortment of staff (some who may not live to the end of the novel) along with a Count who seems too attentive to his Scottish guest.  The castle itself has seen better days and Theodora soon learns that there is discord a plenty in the Dragulescu family.  To start out with, the current count was very attached to his grandfather, but not so much to his own father who had recently died thus making him the current count.  In fact, the rumor mill is that his father is now a Strigoi (not just a vampire, but a dead one – apparently the locals believed that bloodsuckers could also be alive – as in like you and me).  If this is the case it might require the current count to act as a dhampir (son of a vampire believed to be one of the few humans who could kill the undead).  If that isn’t enough, she discovers that her friend isn’t about to get married because the count has no intention to marry her. 


                I didn’t flat out hate ‘The Dead Travel Fast’, but it was more of a romance than I was expecting.  The count comes across a little like Mr. Rochester from ‘Jane Eyre’.  For awhile it had me going but then the story took a left turn and I ended in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Listen kittens, don’t cry for me because I read the majority of the book while on a cruise ship.  BTW, I always thought reading on a ship in a deckchair would be ideal, but it is kind of hard juggling a book, the sun, and a pina coloda.  Deanna Raybourn’s ending was a bit too happily ever after for my taste, especially when the book held more promise about a third in. 


Westerfield © 2010


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