The people of Romania consider him a national hero. To his enemies theTurks, he was known as Kaziklu Bey, the "Impaler Lord," while those living under his harsh rule called him Vlad Tepes--"Vlad the Impaler." But thanks, in part, to Bram Stoker's gothic thriller, the rest of the world knows him best by the bone-chilling name of:
"Dracula" derived from "Dracul," actually means "Son of the Dragon," but was often tranlated to "Son of the Devil." This was the perfect name for the character Bram Stoker originally called "Count Wampyr:"
But C.C. Humphreys didn't write a vampire novel. Instead, Vlad, the Last Confession, is an historical novel about the real Dracula:
The author faced a daunting task writing about a leader, that few--if any--outside Romania admire. In true journalistic fashion, Mr. Humphreys neither demonized, nor praised Dracula's actions. The land Dracula ruled, Wallachia, was sandwiched between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. Wallachian boyars, or high nobles were, therefore, adept at Machiavellian politics long before The Prince was even written:
Under these conditions, the "Son of the Devil" decided the best way to ensure the survival of his kingdom was to be crueler and more terrifying than his enemies. He certainly achieved his goal, even from beyond the grave.
In Vlad the Last Confession, Mr. Humphreys utilized his talents as an actor to unearth the plausible motivations of the dreaded "Impaler Lord." The author neatly ties all the historical facts with this conjectured psych profile to weave a story, not only of torture, terror and betrayal, but also of forgivness, love and small triumphs.
But reader beware! Vlad the Last Confession is not for the faint-of-heart. This is a dark tale, that plunges into the depths of "man's inhumanity to man" and, for the most part, ends in a bloody train wreck. That being said, I enjoyed this "wild ride into the night" and give the book a 5-star rating. At least one reviewer on Amazon.com agrees with me. Among the other 4 reviewers, 3 gave the book a 4-star rating, while the 4th gave it 3 stars, for an average 4-star rating. All in all, a great read!