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The Blood Countess: A Novel
ISBN 0684802449 / 9780684802442 / 0-684-80244-9
Publisher Simon & Schuster
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A folk belief that on bitter cold nights the stars come down to mate with wolves. An adolescent boy, sexually aroused by an "iron maiden" torture device. The smell of paprika and boiled chicken served with Tokay wine. These and other vivid images of Hungary in the 16th century, and Hungary today, swirl together amid scenes of luxury and barbarity and talk of Martin Luther's Christianity and post-Communist ideals in this gloriously gruesome novel inspired by the life of Countess Elizabeth Bathory. They say she killed 650 virgin girls in order to rejuvenate herself with their blood. [via]