Originally, I had heard this is the book that inspired the setting for Dracula’s castle and country in the book by Bram Stoker for his infamous novel Dracula. Having read that novel, I knew I wanted to read this one. It took some time before I could find a copy for my very own, but when I did, I dug in deep.
Knowing going in that this book may have inspired the other, I couldn’t help but see the similarities and the differences. It inspired, throughout the book, the gothic Victorian dark romantic beauty that is surroundings for me, from Stoker’s novel. I have never been there myself, but it gives me a mysterious daydream of what it could have been a hundred years ago. It sets this story in a town in the Carpathian mountains, in Transylvania, called Werst.
The character Count Franz de Telek hears stories about how ‘the devil’ has come to Werst and lives in the castle’s owner is that of Baron Rodolphe de Gortz. The Baron and The Count know of each other as they fought over an Italian Prima donna La Stilla. Thinking she is dead, it surprises him when he hears her voice coming from the castle and even sees her there. It reveals the mystery of her either being alive or dead to only be a phonograph recording of her.
This is a single book that is part of a series called Extraordinary Voyages and considered one of the harder books from Verne for readers to find.
I rarely enjoy spoiling a story, but did it this time, but I gave the warning in the title and another before I did it. It’s a story spoiler, but the book has much more to give than the little mystery reveal I typed.
This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.