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Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Twist On A Classic Character!, September 10, 2007
This review is from: Renfield: Slave of Dracula (Hardcover)
I went into this book not expecting too much to be honest. I knew that it was a spin-off of Dracula focusing on Renfield, of course, and imagined it to be some sort of horrific, crazed lunatic badly done insult to Bram Stoker that I would read anyway just for fun. I couldn't have been more wrong! It was a wonderful book!

Renfield: Slave of Dracula is written with the utmost respect for Bram Stoker's original work. Barbara Hambly did a remarkable job with this book. The book's main focus is, of course, the character of Renfield, resident of Dr. Seward's asylum who consumes life in the form of spiders and flies in the hopes of strengthening his own. Renfield comes to have visions and meetings with Dracula and quite literally becomes a slave of the mind to him calling him "Master."

Hambly retells Bram Stoker's tale through the eye's of Renfield with this book and takes absolutely no liberties with Stoker's original story, which made me so happy! She certainly adds things that "weren't seen" in Stoker's original so that she does have her own novel, but when dealing with his own story, she changes nothing. The story is told through journal's written by Renfield from his cell that often start with an insect count, i.e.: "20 May 7 flies, 3 spiders", letters from Renfield to his wife and child, original passages from Stoker's Dracula, and through a third person narrative.

Hambly has also worked in an incredible story involving the three vampire women that live in Dracula's castle that I loved. I'm not going to talk about it too much because I don't want to give much away, but one of the women by the name of Nomie was actually quite a beautiful character and one that I sympathized with quite a bit.

There is one huge twist in the middle of the book that really makes this one her own. She picks up Renfield's story where Stoker ended it and I'm sure you can guess the basics of how she may have been able to do that. But I'll say no more, which really kills me because this is where we find out all kinds of cool stuff about Renfield. But of course it's all stuff that Hambly made up, not Stoker...but she really did a great job with it.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. It was handled perfectly. I was very leary about this one and in the wrong hands it could've been a travesty. But you can tell that Hambly has the utmost respect for Bram Stoker. What she has added to the character of Renfield fits well with what we knew of him from Dracula and the story that she creates is a fascinating one! Highly recommended for fans of this character!
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Location: Metairie, LA USA

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