Truck Month Textbook Trade In Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it Tap Giveaway Fire TV with 4k Ultra HD Luxury Beauty Mother's Day Gifts Shop now Amazon Gift Card Offer seeso seeso seeso  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Fire, Only $39.99 Kindle Paperwhite AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now SnS
Customer Review

132 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, August 29, 2012
This review is from: The Bloodletter's Daughter (A Novel of Old Bohemia) (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The time is 1599 (though most of the story unfolds beginning in 1605). The place, Prague (and Cesky Krumlov, and Vienna). This rich story about a melancholy king's young, mad son Don Julius and the common (not really) bathmaid, Marketa, who also works with her father, the bloodletter, to help him, doesn't have a dull moment.

The story is easy to follow but has depth and range - the secondary characters (Matthias, King Rudolph's brother, who is anxious to take the crown; Annabella, the red-haired witch/healer and both Marketa's and the king's doctor, Jakub's friend; Katarina, Marketa's young love-struck friend who is forbidden to see her lover; and several others) are vivid, sympathetic characters with stories and lives I cared about. I enjoyed getting a look at the superstitions, beliefs, religious wars and family expectations and pressures of the time, as well as the foods and clothes the people ate and wore.

One of the things I loved most about the book is how the author drew such a captivating, compassionate and believable portrait of Marketa and Don Julius and their situation (relationship? it's difficult to use that word here). It's so easy to despise and criticize the young prince for his violent, abusive and horrific actions. But in Marketa's presence, some bit of mad magic occurs. We see the sad, scared boy within the young man fighting and struggling against the voices, his inner demons, to win and to do the right thing. This little bit of humanity makes it reasonable for smart, ambitious and brave young Marketa, who wants to be a doctor when it's seemingly hopeless for her to achieve such a goal, to have hope, sympathy and compassion for the prince, who is very close to her in age, and handsome and charming at certain moments despite his madness. I can understand how Marketa would believe she had a chance to cure Don Julius, and all things considered, throwing in her mother Lucie's selfish pressure for Marketa to help the family, I can even see how Marketa might hope for love with the prince.

Another of the things I admired about the book is how the author paints hope and redemption into characters who have made mistakes. An old, seemingly loveless and rude priest gets a chance to do the right thing. A dying mother superior who thinks she knows the best life for Marketa, listens to her frustrated young niece who she has never seen before, and makes the ultimate sacrifice.

All in all, those 500+ pages whiz by in a colorful flurry of on the edge-of-your-seat suspense, action and relationships that either grow stronger or fall apart. The book is a treasure to savor.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 2 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 29, 2012 8:39:10 AM PDT
Thank you so much for posting this! Your review captured exactly what I hoped readers would see...the complex strata of society and political struggle during this period. Don Julius, like many Hapsburgs, suffered from mental illness. Marketa could see the scared little boy and lost soul in a madman, at least until the darkness overtook him.
Again, thank you for your thoughtful review.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 8:43:26 AM PDT
And! I am so grateful for your thoughtful discussion of the characters in the book. Your connection with them means a lot to me as the author.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2012 9:00:59 PM PDT
Phil 413 says:
Thank you for taking the time and brain power to write a personalized comment ... no, two personalized comments! While getting to read and enjoy the book was a great reward for reviewing it, there's nothing quite like hearing from the author.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 11:54:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 3, 2012 11:58:04 AM PDT
dr peg says:
Although I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I am perplexed as to the ending. Did the doctor marry either of the women or just remain friends with both? I realized that Annabel was probably not interested in marriage, just in continuing the family line of witches. The Bloodletter's Daughter was dedicated to becoming a doctor, but also finding love. Or so I thought. Help?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 12:15:24 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 3, 2012 12:47:46 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2012 2:29:01 PM PDT
kate says:
In the final chapters, Marketa is referred to as Jakub's wife.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2012 3:46:13 PM PDT
:)
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details