Her father’s brutality has left Anna wanting nothing more than to be single and in charge of her own destiny. When her family’s circumstances unexpectedly force Anna into choosing between marriage and servitude, Anna chooses the Lady Báthory. What happens when a young, independent midwife catches the fancy of the Blood Countess? NOTHING GOOD, that's what.
This is an intriguing story about the manipulation of a smart, resourceful teenager by another with both unlimited resources and cruelty. Anna is so good and naive, you can't help but cringe for her as she is slowly drawn into the web woven for her by the delightfully wicked blood countess.
The writing here is excellent and I flew through this book. What cruel torture would be inflicted next and would Anna respond to the next test of her loyalty?
Where this failed for me? Most of the gore and sex happens off-screen. We see the setup and the result. Understandable, as this is a YA book. Still, disappointing. But the author does a great job holding tension and instilling psychological horror, so for that, I've given this 4 out of 5 stars. Twelve-year-old me would probably have given this a solid ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!
(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)
Rating: 82/100 or ⭐⭐⭐⭐