Book Review: “The Blood Confession” by Alisa Libby

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Never judge a book by its cover. It was a beautiful book, and I fell for the trap. The Blood Confession gleamed with a deadly looking femme fatale on the cover and on the bottom ran red ink that made the book look like it had been dipped in blood. So I grabbed it. It was a spin off of the tale of Elizabeth Bathory, the most famous female serial killer. A seemingly riveting read. She is referenced a lot in vampire stories due to her crimes. Bathory was a Hungarian countess that ended up going from a Hungary Countess to a Blood Hungry Countess. Legend goes as she backhanded a servant, she drew blood. She saw that the blood left her skin youthful and thus started her ultimate slaughter of many innocent victims. It is believed the death toll may be as high as 650 girls, but evidence was only found of eighty young women.
Now for the differences between the book and truth:

  • Book: Refused to marry as it was seen as a trait of growing old
    • Truth: Married Ferenc Nádasdy on 8 May 1575 at 14 and a half years old. He died in 1604 after 29 years of marriage.
  • Book: Four collaborators: Mary, Althea, Sarah, and Elizabeth
    • Truth: Four collaborators: Ilona Jó, Dorotya Semtész, Katarína Benická, and János Újváry
  • Book: Wrote a confession in a diary, had the names memorized
    • Truth: Rumor of a diary that held all the names of the murdered girls
  • Book: Erezabet
    • Truth: Erzsébet Báthory
  • Book: Imprisoned in a tower in Castle Bizecka that was closed and the door walled off in stone
    • Truth: imprisoned in Cachtice Castle and was locked in a set of rooms until she died four years later
  • Book: Count and Countess Bizecka
    • Truth: Anna and George Báthory
  • Book: Grew up in Castle Bizecka
    • Truth: Grew up in Ecsed Castle
  • Book: Stayed in Castle Bizecka
    • Truth: Moved into husband’s Csejte Castle
  • Book: War against the Ottomans
    • Truth: War against the Ottomans
  • Book: Never bore children
    • Truth: Elizabeth gave birth to daughters Anna, Katalin, Orsolya, and sons György, Pál, András, and Miklós
  • Book: Only bloodletting and swift stabbing murder
    • Truth: Harsh beatings, needle use, mutilation of hands, biting the flesh off of the girls, freezing and starving the girls death

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Ok, so there are some huge differences. I wish that the author had stuck more with the real story to make it seem more believable. Bathory herself was enough of a story, and it didn’t need crazy embellishment. The attempt of an elaborate story was there. However, there where too many running details that where confusing. There was a prophecy, and she was cursed. But it turned out that a demon had caused the comet when he fell from heaven, and he was a character named Sinestra (of all things) that kept popping in and out only to not exist in the end. Mind you, after he was the one to take her virginity and the only one to bed her. Then they tried to tie in mirrors and ghosts, and make it seem like all this magic and spirits where real but she was going mad. They threw in an overabundance of info about what exactly she wore and vanity and deadly sins. They tried to elude all this caused the tales of Snow White, the evil queen, and being locked in a tower all came from. However, this does not make sense either since folk stories long outdate this time period. There where too many side stories that just felt like splinters in a handrail. The book was pretty poorly written in language almost as plain as Fifty Shades of Grey or Twilight. The writing was on a reading level of preteen. However, the odd way the references of becoming a woman, murder, weird talk of menstrual blood, and sex was definitely intended for an adult audience. Worst of all, the ending seemed rushed, as if they ran out of paper. The whole flow of the book was constantly interrupted by these italicized areas that were her writing in a diary. But then it would randomly switch to things going on around her. Then it would go back in the past. The whole ordeal was confusing and unfriendly to follow.

It is rare for me to say a book is completely terrible, but I would most definitely not recommend this. I know this is the first book Alisa Libby wrote, and kudos for getting published, but I was highly disappointed in a less than royal story about one of the most famous serial killers of all time. I think Bathory would torture this book. I give this one out of five blood splatters.

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