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Vlad: The Last Confession: n/a Paperback – 11 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (11 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409103307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409103301
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris (C.C.) Humphreys was born in Toronto, lived till he was seven in Los Angeles, then grew up in the UK. All four grandparents were actors, his Norwegian grandfather , Karl Holter, also being a successful writer. Since his father was an actor as well, it was inevitable he would follow the bloodline. He has acted all over the world and appeared on stages ranging from London's West End to Hollywood's Twentieth Century Fox. Favorite roles have included Hamlet, Caleb the Gladiator in NBC's Biblical-Roman epic mini-series, 'AD - Anno Domini' and Jack Absolute in Sheridan's 'The Rivals'.


As C.C. Humphreys, Chris has written six historical fiction novels. The first, 'The French Executioner' told the tale of the man who killed Anne Boleyn and was runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers 2002. Its sequel, 'Blood Ties', was a bestseller in Canada. Having played Jack Absolute, he stole the character and has written three books on this '007 of the 1770's' - 'Jack Absolute', 'The Blooding of Jack Absolute' and 'Absolute Honour'- short listed for the 2007 Evergreen Prize by the Ontario Library Association. All have been published in the UK, Canada, the US and translated into Russian, Italian, German, Greek and Czech.

As 'Chris Humphreys' he has written a trilogy for Young Adults 'The Runestone Saga'. A heady brew of Norse myth, runic magic, time travel and horror, the first book in the series 'The Fetch' was published in North America in July 2006, with the sequel, 'Vendetta' in August 2007 and the conclusion, 'Possession', August 2008. They are also published in Russia, Greece, Turkey and Indonesia. His latest Young Adult novel 'THE HUNT OF THE UNICORN' is released by Knopf in North America in March 2011.

His latest adult novel is: VLAD: THE LAST CONFESSION - the true history of DRACULA. Just published in the UK and Commonwealth, it has sold to Germany, Spain, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Serbia, Turkey and Brazil.

His new adult novel 'A PLACE CALLED ARMAGEDDON' about the fall of Constantinople 1453, will be released in the UK in July 2011 and canada August 2011.

Chris lives on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, with his wife and young son.

Product Description

Review

A fast-paced, intriguing and beautifully-constructed thriller and its final twist - not a phrase you use lightly in the context of impaling or disembowelling - certainly took me by surprise. If you see it coming you are a more insightful reader than I am. Just don't read it before you go to sleep. (Andrew Taylor DAILY EXPRESS)

A chilling masterpiece that weaves fact and fable. Bedtime reading? Only if you don't need much sleep... (BEST)

Humphreys' elegant prose and command of his obscure subject matter creates an uncompromising, extraordinary journey into the brutal times and tortured soul of an oft-misunderstood ruler whose reign became synonymous with terror (HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW)

Cracking historical fiction... A book that is a must have for all fans of the genre. (FALCATA TIMES)

An accessible, fast-paced, narrative-driven, damn-near-irresistible historical thriller. Humphreys's research infuses every page, but never calls attention to itself; the story always has centre stage. It's the consummate "good read" for a rainy fall weekend, pulpy and engrossing and just gross enough to satisfy that monster craving. (TORONTO GLOBE)

Literate elegant writing... Vlad: The Last Confession superbly portrays the passions which drove Vlad, taking the reader on a whirlwind ride through torture, battle and despair. It's a dark tale, but Humphreys illuminates it with historical details and page-turning bravura prose. (YORKSHIRE EVENING POST)

Vlad: The Last Confession is a superb page-turner from start to finish that offers a captivating look at the true picture of Vlad. Highly, highly recommended. No vampires though... (FANTASYCRITIC.COM)

There's a maturity in his writing that places it above much of the cash-in fare surrounding the middle European leader... An unexpectedly riveting read. 8/10 (TOTAL SCI-FI) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A creepy masterpiece." (Best magazine)

"A fast-paced, intriguing and beautifully-constructed thriller." (The Daily Express)

"There's a maturity in his writing that places it above much of the cash-in fare surrounding the middle European leader. An unexpectedly riveting read." (Total Sci-Fi)

"Literate elegant writing... Vlad: The Last Confession superbly portrays the passions which drove Vlad, taking the reader on a whirlwind ride through torture, battle and despair. It's a dark tale, but Humphreys illuminates it with historical details and page-turning bravura prose." (Yorkshire Evening Post)

"Humphreys’ elegant prose and command of his obscure subject matter creates an uncompromising, extraordinary journey into the brutal times and tortured soul of an oft-misunderstood ruler." (Historical Novels Review)

"Vlad is ... an accessible, fast-paced, narrative-driven, damn-near-irresistible historical thriller. "Humphreys's research infuses every page, but never calls attention to itself; the storyalways has centre stage. It's the consummate ‘good read’ for a winter weekend, pulpy and engrossing and just gross enough to satisfy that monster craving." (Globe and Mail) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By E. Evlogidis on 3 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't read much fiction, usually opting for real history but I thought I would give this one a go and I am so pleased that I did. This novel exceeded my expectations in every way.

The idea behind the book is that 3 people, all of whome knew Vlad throughout his life are brought together to retell his story in a trial that hopes to re-establish Vlad Dracula as a hero of Christendem and not a blood thirsty monster.

Through these three narratives we are able to follow Vlad from his younger years (as a hostage in Turkey), into the prison where he learns the art of Impalement, onto his crowning as Voivoid of Wallachia and the war he raged with Turkey, and finally onto his final years as a fallen Prince feared and despised my most but still loved by some. Along the way we meet a cast of colouful characters that will stay with you even after you put the book down. Ion Tremblac his right hand man best friend and one of the few people Vlad trusts. Ilona Vlad,s love interest, the Sultans, Murad and Mehmet, Hamza Pasha Vlads mentor in his younger days and Radu Vlad's younger brother.

I don't want to give anything away as it will spoil the read but I did find myself at 2.00am saying "Just one more chapter" "I've got to see what happens next" and this sums up the book for me. It's moving in places as Vlad's relationships with his closest "friends" change and is quite graphic in others (the impalement scenes leave nothing to the imagination) but in the end it's a great story well told and that in my opinion is what makes a book worth reading.

The only negative thing I could find to say about this book is the chapters did jump ahead in time quite a lot (7 months later, 1 year later etc) but that's only because I wanted to know more, what happened in those 7 months?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 April 2009
Format: Paperback
In a world where the very name of a certain Eastern Count is the very epitome of fear and evil deeds it was with great interest that I awaited the first novel by CC Humphrys to land. Not only has the author humanised the principle protagonist but rather than ridding the tale of some of the excesses of the "Impaler" they allowed the character the chance to explain their actions before a reading public which presented them in turn with the discovery that he was not quite the rogue agent that we've all come to believe.

Whilst many would prefer to keep the Prince as the Vampire of Legend who dreamt of new ways to torture his prisoners, CC allowed the reader the chance to see the man behind the myth and what he did to save Christendom from the Turk. Cracking historical fiction with a humanised Count who utilised the greatest weapon in his arsenal against an invader and a book that is a must have for all fans of the genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 26 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am extremely disappointed by this book. I was expecting something along the lines of the Emperor series, and I think the author could have taken some advice out of Iggulden's impressive saga. Wheras it took 4 books to cover Caesar, this book should have been spread over at least 3 books. The result is a rushed, shallow novel, with one dimensional characters and no detail.
The novel leapfrogs from one significant event to the other and often provides no background on what has happened in the years between nearly every chapter. I understand how Humphries would prefer to focus on Vlad the man as opposed to battles and set pieces, but he fails to do even that. His narration is also rather clunky and difficult to grasp at times, especially when you are trying to understand what's happened to Vlad over the last two years between each chapter or part.
I really wanted to like this book, and being a huge fan of Dracula (the vampire) and historical fiction, I thought it would be the perfect book for me. How I was wrong. I think I'll stick with Iggulden and Cornwell.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
In this excellent title by CC Humpreys you meet finally the real Vlad Dracul, not the blood sucking vampire but the real man the prince, you learn how the legends were born and may have been twisted by history "History is written by the victors" and in this case they didn't write very nice things, but maybe that just goes to show how effective one small prince and his small army was against the Muslim hordes that were banging on the door of the Christian west?
This take told in a time slip style part confessional, part transported back to the events is a lesson in how to write very real characters, to make them live on paper, all action scenes are fairly short but even so leave the reader breathless and wanting more and at the end it does not wrap the take up with a pretty bow, it leaves the reader with the question of who is right, has history treated him badly? does he deserve his reputation?

I enjoyed this book so much it went down as my favourite book of 2009
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angie on 29 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
One of the most fascinating books I have ever read... and trust me, I have read a few!

This book took me out of my comfort zone despite being a lover of horror but this is why this book troubled me. It's not a horror book as much as a psychological battering of the senses. In parts, I found myself not wanting to read the next sentence while totally unable to stop myself from doing so. You know when you are driving along the motorway and there is an accident, you don't want to look but something prevents you from averting your eyes. Well, this is how I found myself reacting to Vlad. It gripped me entirely and evoked all sorts of emotions. Its also a beautifully written, fascinating and completely captivating novel which is based on fact which is what makes it such a powerful read. The reader is basically asked to read the facts of Vlads upbringing and life and decide whether he was born evil or made into the relenting persecutor that he became. For me, well, yes he definitely comes across as the barbaric soul we all know him as but this book also shows you a different side. Perversely, there were times when I felt compassion towards him, although believe me, compassion isn't a word which you will associate with him for most of this book.

So. Out of the thousands of books that I have read over the years, this is one which will stand out for a long time to come. I have my copy on my bookshelf and it's a book that I will not lend out for fear of it not returning, and to tell the truth it wont be everyones cup of tea. But I would urge anybody with any interest in the legend which is Dracula to read this, in fact I would recommend anyone with an open mind and a fairly strong stomach to read it - I doubt you will forget it.
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