THE BLOOD CONFESSION by Alisa M. Libby

THE BLOOD CONFESSION

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

In 16th-century Hungary, a conceptually interesting but sluggishly paced gothic horror unfolds. Erzebet (based on historical Countess Bathory) is the daughter of an austere count and mad countess. A prophecy foretelling either early death or eternal life haunts her childhood and drives her to seek control of her destiny through blood’s sacred power. Every midnight she bleeds virginal servant girls, slicing their arms with a knife. She bathes her face in the blood, creates makeup with it and slashes girls to death so she can sit underneath their strung-up dripping corpses. She finds no repentance, only madness: “Peasants are the disposable living meat of this country,” and she herself is God, creating heaven and hell in her castle. Libby’s combination of history, fairy tales and the Bible is vivid, but her language is distractingly lofty and the length tedious. Those few readers who make it through the plodding bulk will be rewarded with a suspenseful and creative final quarter that reinvigorates the early fairy-tale theme. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-525-47732-2
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2006