The Bloodletter's Daughter (A Novel of Old Bohemia) –by Linda Lafferty
513 pages / 682 KB
This is quite possibly the best novel I've read this year! It truly was a page burner and the only reason I didn't read it in one sitting is it was my bedtime read, and I read until my eyes burned and blurred and the words swam away.
Based on history, and actual people whom I had little to no knowledge of only made this read that much more fun. The characters were real, they came alive on the page, and yes, I'm certain there was a bit of license taken with the story, but it was very well done.
Taking place in the early 1600s, it is the story of Marketa, daughter to the Barber-Surgeon of Cesky Krumlov who has ambitions to become a doctor, like her father. Of course, she is a girl, and that could never be. When Don Julius, the illegitimate and insane son of Rudolf II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, is interred in the local castle, she goes with her father to help in the treatment (blood letting) of the handsome prince in the hopes they can cure him.
Insane, sadistic, cruel, Don Julius is also wealthy, a Hapsburg, and handsome. And a good talker. She, the poor daughter of the barber-bloodletter and matron who runs the local bathhouse, is entranced and against all advice and her own intelligence, is drawn to Don Julius.
Ms. Lafferty did her homework, and spun a marvelous tale firmly based in history. This is a book I will read more than once. Now that I know how the story ends, I can read it again and just enjoy the beauty of the words as Ms. Lafferty wove them into a shimmery, silken scarf, called Historical Novel.