So Who Was Dracula?
By Marie Treanor
Well, apart from anything else, he was a friend of the Ancient vampire Saloman – or at least that’s my theory in my vampire romance trilogy, Awakened by Blood. And it does seem to me the two have a few things in common: for example, they’re both regarded as the father of vampires, and they’ve both had a bad press.
So, like Bram Stoker with Dracula, did I model Saloman on Vlad? Of course not! Because for one thing, Vlad the Impaler wasn’t really a vampire at all, not even in the lurid literature of his own time. It was Bram Stoker who picked up his name and reputation and based some of Count Dracula’s life on him.
Vlad really was known as Dracula – “son of the Dragon” – because of the chivalrous Order of the Dragon bestowed upon his father, Vlad Dracul - “the Dragon” - but Vlad wasn’t a Count, he was a Prince, off-and-on ruler of the Romanian principality of Wallachia. He had a turbulent life: given as a child to the Ottoman Sultan as a hostage for his father’s short-lived loyalty, he seized the Wallachian throne for the first time in 1448 at the tender age of seventeen. Although quickly driven off again, he came back a few years later in 1456 and this time ruled for six years until, after a heroic defence, he was deposed by the invading Turks.
He’s a fascinating and enigmatic character, from a complex part of the world and a dangerous period of east European history. Vlad was a realist, trying to maintain the independence of his tiny country, and a harsh ruler as befitted the philosophy of his time – as Machiavelli said, it was better for a prince to be feared than loved. But he also made improvements to his people’s way of life and prosperity… So perhaps there’s another similarity to my Saloman who is, in his own unique way, trying to create a better world!
OK, another similarity: both were betrayed, Saloman by his “son” and his human mistress; Vlad by his ally, the King of Hungary, who left him to defend Wallachia alone from the might of the Ottoman Empire, and then imprisoned him for twelve years, during which time, the legend of the monstrous, torturing Impaler was spread.
So was Vlad a hero or was he the horrific Impaler of legend? Well, it’s only my opinion, but I suspect he was no more brutal than his contemporaries. I can’t really buy into the psychotic torturer and vile mass murderer who apparently impaled more people than actually lived in his country at the time! Very few of the atrocity stories can be verified; at the very least they were exaggerated. He may well have been a victim of propaganda.
And Saloman? If you’ve read Blood on Silk, you’ll know that untrue things were also said of him after his “death”. And at least in his dealings with Elizabeth, he does have a softer side. In Blood Sin, the second of the trilogy, we find out more about him and his Ancient race, and how he regards his responsibilities. Will he prove to be a true hero? Read it and find out.
One final note. As Saloman came back to the world when Elizabeth awakened him, Vlad was eventually released from prison and regained the Wallachian throne for a third time. But his final reign lasted only a few months before he was killed. Is this a bad omen for Saloman?
Contest: I have a copy of BLOOD SIN to give away! To enter the draw, tell me – do you think a vampire could bring about a better world? Or make some other comment!
BLOOD SIN: Awakened by Blood 2 by MARIE TREANOR
Published by NAL Signet Eclipse
Available now from Amazon
Even if you walk in the light, you can dwell in the dark.
Months after her dangerous encounter with vampire overlord Saloman, Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk is still trying to cope with both the demands of her ancestral bloodline—which marks her as a vampire hunter — and the overpowering desire she feels for the immortal she brought back from the grave. But she is not alone in her fascination with Saloman.
When Elizabeth tracks down a distant cousin from America, she learns he possesses an antique sword that has caught the interest of the Grand Master of the American hunters. It is the ancient and mystical sword of Saloman — a treasure of vast occult powers and a prize beyond measure to both vampires and humans. Now the race is on for possession of the sword.
Even as her enemies and allies shift their allegiances and battle for supremacy, Elizabeth must decide which will rule her own perilous fate: unwanted loyalty or unholy love.
Read excerpts from Blood Sin: http://www.marietreanor.com/BloodSin.htm#excerpts
Marie’s Website: www.MarieTreanor.com.
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Buy Blood on Silk (Awakened by Blood 1) at Amazon