Thursday, 4 December 2008
Renfield by Barbara Hambly
There is something creepy about the cover of this novel that attracts you like the flies that seem to fill the pages. But I was trapped to it unable to put it down till I finished.
The story picks up with Renfield already in the asylum desperate for the tiny flies and spiders that can give him the strength to do "his job". Flashing back between nightmares of his past in India and the visions he sees through Dracula's eyes.
The novel also plays with the temperament of the 3 brides who are suppose to be waiting back in Dracula's Castle. Touching on the ideas that power comes in only one real form -fear- this novel tries to explain why everyone is betraying everyone else.
Less the erotic tartness that has seeped into the vampire genre for the last decade (about time we cleaned the steam and trash from the window) and more about how the fear feeds the will, Renfield Slave of Dracula, does follow the original story in the form of letters and diaries, and makes you care for the lesser public characters of Seward, Morris and Renfield.
The one element the novel has kept from recent vampire ideals is the use of the vampire as a metaphor for complete loneliness.