Serbia in the 18th century: The 14-year-old Jasna is sold by her father to the travelling horse breeder Jovan Vucovic who owns a manor on the border to the Ottoman Empire. There she should marry his son Danilo and give him an heir. After the fast wedding Jasna notices soon that something is not right with her husband and his family. On the one hand Danilo refuses to go along with her and doesn’t speak with her, especially not of the mysterious death of his mother. On the other hand the family is banished from the village: She isn’t allowed to participate in the church service and there are many contradictory and dreadful rumors; even from a curse and vampire. In her great fear and desperation Jasna only the young lumberjack Dusan gives her hold and she falls in love with him.
While the mysterious incidents pile up – strange deaths, slain sheep and strange bloody holes in the horse necks, and the villagers become more and more hysterical. In the meantime Jasna slowly gets into the dark secrets of her new family. (Source: goodreads.com)
My thoughts about the book:
Totenbraut (‘bride of the dead’ in English) was a book which gave me mixed feelings and unfortunately my enthusiasm for it has developed quite late. At the beginning it dragged very much and the plot could only offer little tension. Or maybe the reason for it was that there were too many open questions which made the reading not more interesting, but rather confused me. Especially because I didn’t know who of the people in the book belonged to the good or to the bad side and I found that out only quite late. Also the fact that the story plays in a former time and the characters were very god-fearing, for me that was a point with which I couldn’t get go along very well.
Nevertheless throughout the story I could overlook that and it became clear, why the religion was important for the plot and therefore has becalmed me again.
Usually I like the writing style of Blazon very much because she is able to insert nice descriptions of feelings and the surroundings without exaggerating it, so that it doesn’t disturb the reading fluency, but sounds nice. But here it has irritated me a little because the book was told in the present tense and to be honest I’m no real fan of that. Additionally I didn’t like the dialogues in this book, they were sometimes too outmoded. In exchange I had no problem to read the book in the ‘first-person’, like others often have.
What I’ve liked the most in this book, were the characters. Here particularly Jasna, because she is a very bullheaded, stubborn person with a loose tongue and she always says what she’s thinking. A fact which is to be lifted up high, because the story plays in Serbia in the 18th century (1731) and there it was rather unusual that a woman said what she was thinking. Although Jasna was sold by her father and wasn’t able to decide by herself which man she wants to marry, she remains strong and presents her inwardly tightened and also smart.
She has amazed me, has sometimes brought me to laughter and if I now think back to Jasna, she reminds me a little of the comic figure‚ Heidi‘. The cheeky small brat was also always ill-behaved and had a heavenly stubborn attitude which makes me smile over and over again and made me fond of the character. Like with Heidi, it was for me just like that here with Jasna.
Also Danilo was able to change himself to the positive and I was anyway from the first time on a fan of Dusan! He’s a typical light-headed guy who I had to take in my heart soon. He’s joking all the time, is always good for a repartee and only after some time he let us behind his facade and we also recognize his seriousness.
Hence, to tell the truth, I also was a little disappointed at the end because the end happened too fast and too abrupt. I would have like to read more of the characters and their story and I was also eager to get a more exact view of their future life.
Once again I choose this book because of the cover. Therefore it’s clear that I like the cover on account of the coloring and the nice picture as well..
All in all:
A book for everyone who likes to read stories from former times and is interested in the historical background of the vampirism or who wants to get frightened. But only a little bit. :).
3 of 5 points
(This book is also available in French and in Spanish.)
Buy French book: »click here«
Buy Spanish book: »click here«
About the author – Nina Blazon:
Born 1969, studies Slavic and German Language. After some career side trips (Assistant lecturer at different Universities and lyricist for an advertising agency) she is now working as a journalist and (since 2003) as an author of young adult books.
Genres: Fantasy, Thriller and historian novel.
Visit her Website »»