“Castle Dubrava” by Yuri Kapralov

Sorry for the long pauses in between book reviews. Everyone is still battling with pandemic times so I’m not leaning on them for reviews, I hope everyone who reads these can understand that. My own health has RAPIDLY declined so I’ve been in and out of hospitals for testing and put on a cocktail of new medication. I apologize profusely that the blog has not kept up to its normal volume but I do hope you understand we live in chaotic, unpredictable times.

Moving on from that, Castle Dubrava …ooh, Castle Dubrava what a wild ride you were.

I’m almost not 100% sure how I ended up with a library book published in 1982? I grab books from so many places it kind of blends together in my brain.

I …had several issues with this book. Several. I understand it was written in a different time and took place in that era but …some errors just transcend time. Also, the plot lines and things in the book wouldn’t be able to happen today, which does make it a little interesting. (Oh no, she’s missing! Maybe she ran off with another man? Here, let’s trace her cellphone! Oh no, she’s actually at the old abandoned church, we should go find her – End of book)

The book starts with Sally, an office lady in the States, who receives a letter from a long lost lover. The letter invites her to join him for a holiday in his homeland of Romania. Naturally she takes a month leave and hops on the first plane she can get (apparently the d*ck was that good – yes, references were made to the amount of sex they had). Oh, the 80s, back in a time when shit like that was affordable.

In Romania, as she waits for her lover, Nikolai, she is passed by an ornate and curiously old fashion horse-drawn carriage. Don’t worry, there were cars in this time, I was technically born 3 years after it was published -I can promise you, there was technology. Inside the carriage is a beautiful young man, but somehow the man looks familiar …but why?

This is where the book completely derails for me. People around the town were getting attacked by a woman that looked exactly like the red-headed American woman. My thought was ooo, mystery! We are following Sally until she starts hallucinating and running wild in the woods and then she’s just gone. Ushered away to Castle Dubrava where the mysterious man in the carriage, Michea, lives.

Changing points of view isn’t a huge deal, it’s just that as soon as Sally is gone we are thrown a mass of new characters all telling completely different stories. And for some reason, the writing wasn’t BAD, it was just hard to follow. Very few details and with every chapter something new, it was hard to get settled into a scene. As soon as you started to figure out what was happening you were tossed into the next scene with the next person. There were time lapses with no indication of time to get an idea of how long the time lapse had been. So everything became a little muddled to me.

The basic plot is – Sally goes missing, her luggage still in the room, Nikolai (her lover and a policeman) just assumes she went back to America or ran off with another man (without her luggage). People in the town around Castle Dubrava spread rumors that Michea is a Vampire, and the passing events have Nikolai believing these tales. Before Sally goes missing, two Germans are found murdered and drained of blood. The Germans were Archaeologists and found in possession of 5 pages from an old sacred script. Still being sore about WW2, the Romanian police spend little to no effort investigating the murder. Michea is linked to the pages (he has the original book the scripts come from) and Nikolai proposes to the rest of the police force that Michea is a Vampire who killed those men looking for the 5 pages …and is basically laughed right into medical leave.

Throughout the rest of the story, Sally’s story is revealed more through Michea’s story and the Priest (another random character thrown in), and the officer brought in to replace Nikolai (who also kind of disappears).

Some people may like this book, it has a different view on Vampires, and isn’t your standard typical High School sparkling Vampire that haunts the media now. But, it’s not my thing. I started to lose interest when I could no longer follow the story and none of the characters had really distinctive personalities so when a whole mass of Romanian names are thrown at me with cookie cutter personalities, I start to lose track of who is who.

Try this book if you like really old stories with lots of War references, or …just find a better modern book?

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