A disappointing 2.5 Stars
This was a book I wanted to love more than I did. It was about the real life Dracula. How can you go wrong. After reading the first 2/3 I was planning on giving it two stars. Fortunately the author pulls it together by the end.
I didn't buy the premise. Three of the people who knew Vlad Dracula the best were gathered together after he died to give a information (a last confession) of what they knew of Dracula. In part, they were attempting to explain his actions and shed light on his atrocities. Unfortunately, the did not do a very good job of doing it. Maybe I was supposed to feel conflicted and unsure of whether he was a national hero or a murderous lunatic. I was left annoyed. I don't come to care for or about what happened to anyone. The writing style was scattered. I found I had to read paragraphs because the author kept losing me.
Fortunately the book did its best to redeem itself in the last third. It mostly succeeded in doing so. At this point we finally get to know the characters and understand how they tick. Although I did not feel like I fully understood why Dracula committed his atrocities, I fel like he was humanized by the end and I felt I could understand his actions the rest if the way.
Regardless, Vlad Dracula is an interesting character for a story. This is the first time I have read a novel set in this era and area of the world.