The Tale Of The Vampire Bride - Rhiannon Frater This was a toughie. The Tale of the Vampire Bride puts a different spin on Dracula from a view of a new "bride", Glynis, and is made up of mostly her journal entries and letters. I wanted to seriously give up about 10% in and briefly hated the author for subjecting my mind to such cruelty. Yes, I know this is horror but I figured it would be just blood-and-guts, not the personal kind of horrors happening one after another in such a short space of time that would be everyone's worst nightmare. The beginning is deceptive -just a loving but argumentative family travelling Europe in order to find their daughters husbands after Glynis offends every suitor with her outspoken ways. And they're unwittingly led to the home of Dracula. He takes Glynis to be his fourth bride but she fights him and his rules at every turn. He attempts to break her using various and sickening methods. He doesn't value life and has no concept of compassion. She refuses to give him the satisfaction of breaking her and suffers the consequences along with her vampire sisters (the other brides). Glynis is an incredibly strong yet vulnerable character. She's a modern woman, a feminist who believes she should have the same freedoms as any man. She's intelligent, charming and witty. Her strength of will is formidable and her bravery, admirable. I was on her side from the very beginning.I don't want to give too many details away because I appreciated this book so much more for having no idea what was around the corner as I read it. It's not predictable, you can never tell what will befall Glynis next. The writing is amazing. I found myself right there with Glynis, every step of the way, and despite being set in 1819, I never tired of the language or of the politeness and propriety of the time period as I usually am. Due to my discomfort I sometimes wished the book was shorter, not because it wasn't of good quality I just wanted Glynis's suffering to end just like she did, whether that meant her escape or her death. However, she did experience some better days (or should that be nights?) in the hell of her captivity. It does get easier to read as you go on.It must've been fate for me to read this when I did because the same day I picked this up I had read a magazine article on Natascha Kampusch's [b:3,096 Days|9247128|3,096 Days|Natascha Kampusch||14127555], the real-life story of her kidnapping and years of imprisonment by Wolfgang Priklopil and her escape in 2006 when she was 18. I found myself comparing her views of her kidnapper and Glynis's and they were quite similar. It's surprising to me that people can survive so much without breaking. I admire anyone real or fictional who can bear such trauma and still be intact when they come out the other side.Warning: To those of you who avoid books with rape, it does contain more than one rape scene but it's not overly described and does have a purpose and although horrific, I wasn't offended by it's use.