Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “House of Bathory” as Want to Read:
House of Bathory
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

House of Bathory

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  3,835 ratings  ·  407 reviews
In the early 1600s, Elizabeth Báthory, the infamous Blood Countess, ruled Cachtice Castle in the hinterlands of Slovakia. During bizarre nightly rites, she tortured and killed the young women she had taken on as servants. A devil, a demon, the terror of Royal Hungary—she bathed in their blood to preserve her own youth.

400 years later, echoes of the Countess’s legendary bru
Paperback, 486 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Lake Union Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about House of Bathory, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about House of Bathory

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,835 ratings  ·  407 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of House of Bathory
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read
Buddy read with Athena.

Actual rating 3.5 stars. I'm rounding up (see review below to understand why I chose to).

I spent most of the book oscillating between:

excitement photo: excitement voldydance.gif


fear photo: fear fear.jpg

It was GLORIOUS!!!!

The ending just made me:

angst photo: the angst! it burns! ITBURNS.gif

This is going to be a very difficult review for me to write, so please bare with me.

From page one, Miss Lafferty sucked me in!! I LOVED how she went back and forth from the year 1610 to 2010. I was totally into the characters from both time periods and could NOT wait to see wher
I had to close the book by the 2nd chapter when the Countess, admiring her image in her mirror, asked her handmaiden if she thought she was the most beautiful woman. The pox faced handmaiden replied that she was, in all of Christendom and the Oriental kingdom, or some nonsense like that. Any further, I think Snow White might pop out.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Known as the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Báthory is one of history's most prolific serial killers. Formally charged for only eighty deaths, evidence, supposedly written in her own hand, suggests more than six hundred women fell victim to her sadistic obsession.

The legend surrounding Elizabeth serves as the foundation of Linda Lafferty's House of Bathory, but much like Holly Luhning's Quiver, the book itself is a modern day my
Andrea Murray
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
House of Bathory is a tale of incestual and sadistic horror, framed by a modern story that mirrors the twisted history until the two are so intertwined it’s impossible to tell where one stops and the other begins. The history in this novel is extensive, sometimes a little overwhelming, but being a history buff, I appreciated the research and detail in the scenes depicting the seventeenth century world of Eastern Europe and the cour
T.M. Williams
Feb 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
I dragged through this. This book took over a week to read which is insanely long for me. How can someone turn one of the most fascinating, macabre, mysterious, psychotic woman in the world and turn her in a bore? Read this book and you'll find out how.

Normally, I like different perspectives in a book but this was rough and choppy. Just as I was starting to become invested in a storyline it shifted to someone elses. There was really no connection and it hinted towards some paranormal, just enou
Stephanie (Bookfever)
House of Bathory was absolutely an amazing read. I flew through it in no time because my eyes were glued to the screen of my Kindle. It was that good! I didn't know what I expected starting it but it turned out even better than I had hoped.

I've always been intrigued by the story of Elizabeth Bathory. I love history and I've seen documentaries and movies about her so I was pretty excited to read this book. I'm so glad I got accepted for it via NetGalley.

This book is my first Linda Lafferty book
This book wasn't at all what I expected. I thought I was reading a historical fiction book about Elizabeth Bathory. Although her story features in the pages, the main focus is on Betsy Path, a psychologist, her mother, Grace Path, a doctor, and Betsy's patient, Daisy Hart.

I don't usually like time-slip novels but I actually did enjoy this one. My main problem was that we never get to get our teeth into the Countess or the other historical figures. We never really get to know them or any real de
2.5 Stars

It had such great potential but the author didn't make it work. I expected the countess to be cruel and wicked, which she was, but she was not as wicked or as chilling or horrifying as I expected a serial killer to be. I'm disappointed at her bland portrayal.

Daisy was sweet and all but she was so reckless, stupid, whimsical and GOTHIC. She put herself in stupid situation which could have easily gotten her raped or murdered in real life. But of course, since this is fiction, nothing hap
Feb 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
This author had been recommended to me so when I saw this book pop up on Netgalley. I asked to review it.

I finished this book 3 days ago and I am still trying to figure out what in the hell I just read. This book was pure silliness. Elizabeth Bathory is a fascinating person in history. She is even more fascinating now that there are theories that she might have been set up so that the King could seize her property and not pay back a debt that he had made with her husband. With all of that...this
Græme Ravenscroft
Jan 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is a partial review, based on about 12% of the book. [Having finished it, everything I've said here stands.]

∙Countess Báthory is a Disney villain: painfully, awkwardly, cary-carryingly Evil-with-a-capital-E. The author clearly loved the Queen from Snow White, because this is all Lady Báthory is.

∙The rest of the cast are complete cardboard. One characterization detail and we're done. Both mothers are overbearing and just don't understand their daughters. The Countess' servantry are all usele
Alice Rand
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Wonderful, Fascinating Read.
When I came across House of Bathory I was intrigued. I learned from Wikipedia that the Countess of Bathory was infamous--“…the most prolific female serial killer in history”-- but I had never heard of her. After reading about who she was, and when and where she lived, I had to read this book. I was not disappointed.
Two stories are told: the fascinating historical story in Cachtice Castle in 1610 leading up to the Countess’s arrest; and the second story, just as fa
Jan 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth is credited for having said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." Ms Longworth couldn't possibly have read The House Of Bathory by Linda Lafferty, but had she been able to read it, Alice and I could have had a great time saying not nice things together. This wasn't a very good book, and it should have been.

The subject of the story is a fascinating, albeit despicable, woman
Athena Shardbearer
Jan 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, buddy-read
Read this one with my buddy and horror addict Shandra

The most frightening terror in the world was not ghosts, or monsters, not vampires or any of that nonsense. The most terrifying creature in the world is a madman.

I enjoy a book that makes you think and wonder if there are people in this world that are capable of horrible things. Then you do research and find out that, yes there are. I have heard of Countess Bathory, I think in high school maybe college, but never really went more into find out
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Disclaimer: This ARC was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.

This book was pretty awesome and horrific. I really enjoyed reading this.

The only thing I didn't like was the teenaged "goth". It was cringe-worthy and hella awkward to read.
This is a historical fiction, as well as, mystery novel. Author Lafferty switched between both past (1600's) and present day (2010). Although Lafferty is wonderful at going back in forth in time periods (never confusing). I found myself drawn to the past and not the present day. The past story line was intriguing and I could have read an entire book on Countess Bathory herself. I felt the present was boring and dragged out until the ending. I also felt the entire Carl Jung thing was just kind of ...more
Betsy is a psychiatrist in the contemporary US. She's working with a young goth patient who latches on to her therapist. Meanwhile, in 17th century Eastern Europe, Countess Bathory is torturing and murdering young women in her quest for everlasting beauty. Obviously with dual timeline novels such as this there's a connection between characters and it's always interesting to see what this is. This was a fun thriller based on the real-life Bathory and I enjoyed seeing it all unfurl.
*sigh* I had such hopes for this book considering its infamous subject of Countess Bathory. I knew some of her gory history, so that just added fuel to my interest in the book. Therefore, I was so disappointed in what the book offered. It wasn’t what I expected or hoped for and in the end, I was just happy I finally got through it.

There were many issues I had with the book, I honestly don’t know where to begin. The story and all its components never really got a strong foothold on what it was tr
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is my second novel by Ms. Lafferty, the first being The Bloodletter's Daughter and I have to say I am quite taken with her. Her one sentence writing style descriptor would be that she is the literary love child of Philippa Gregory and Anne Rice (minus that unfortunate born again Christian phase that Ms. Rice finally abandoned in 2010). Gregory and Lafferty have both made names for themselves by writing historical fiction about the women of the past. Interesting people in their own right who ...more
House of Bathory was quite a let down for me. It was one of the 2014 historical fiction releases I was most curious about, but then I sort of forgot about it and got to read it only in 2015. Unfortunately, in this case I can't say I regret not picking it up sooner.

The book is not awful, but it did not work for me at all. The plot follows two different storylines: the first, in our days, tells the story of psychoanalyst Betsy Path and her patient, Daisy Hart; the second, in the early 1600s, is ab
Sue Thompson
I was disappointed by this book, I wanted it to be so much more than I got. Elizabeth Bathory is a historical figure who borders upon legend, there are so many stories of her bloodiness that it is almost impossible now to separate the fact from the fiction. Due to this I expected the book to focus a little more on her bloodthirstiness (for want of a better word) I expected a little more horror than there was. Elizabeth Bathory is a character where you could truly run wild with the story telling, ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An amazing, horrifying story about the notorious Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Having just finished the book, I am still in shock over how evil a person can be, and how much horror they can inflict on other people. I recommend this book for readers 18+ who enjoy historical fiction, but it could also very much be seen as a horror novel.
The Badger
If you're at all interested in Erzsebet Bathory, don't read this book. You will never get those four hours back, no matter how scathing your review.

Obviously if you've read the description, you know that half of the book takes place in the present. And if you made it to the Afterward without slitting your wrists, you'll know that the Lafferty decided that she could create a main character who was a psychologist without actually consulting a LIVING psychologist for reference (although she apparen
Alisha Tarran
Jan 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Not many people are aware of a historical figure in the 1600's called Countess Elizabeth Bathory, also called the Blood Countess, who ruled the Cachtice Castle in Slovakia. She murdered hundreds of girls during her odd rituals held at night in the castle grounds. Girls from the village looking for work would go to the Castle, and never be seen or heard from again, rumours of their torture and murder swirling through the locals, along with one chilling proclamation....that Countess likes to bathe ...more
Darcia Helle
This is one of those books that is very difficult for me to rate. It's written in two distinct parts - 17th century historical fiction and present day suspense. While these two storylines are woven together and alternate throughout the book, I feel like I need to rate and review them separately.

First, the book centers around the real life Countess Bathory, or the Blood Countess, who lived in Slovakia during the 1600s. This historical aspect is incredibly well written. I felt like I was there in
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
House of Bathory was extremely intriguing. I was hooked and excited only 3% into the book. Usually stories that take place in the present as well as in the past have something missing, they just don't fit together. Lafferty proved that past and present could indeed be melded together to create a fantastic story. This tale didn't snag at all. The tale was weaved together so well that I sometimes forgot if I was in present time or past. The times effortlessly melted into each other. I have even be ...more
Maggie Jaicomo
Feb 05, 2014 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book. And with that being said, I thought it was a quick and interesting read. I liked the way the characters intertwined and the timelines matched up. However, the ended seemed a bit abrupt and left me with more questions than answers. The character development in some cases was lacking. Not necessarily spoilers but, I wanted to know more about Daisy/Morgan/Dad relationship; what really happened there? How were Daisy, Morgan, and Dr. Path all in the same bloodline w ...more
J. Morgyn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I got this as a Good Reads giveaway. This book was super suspenseful and intriguing. I didn't know anything about Jungian psychology or Countess Bathory but this book was the best history lesson! The characters (those from the past and the present) are all caught up in the disgusting legacy of Countess Bathory--the Blood Countess. Bathory is famous for her numerous murders--she was basically a sadistic madwoman. This is a great book to get lost in.

My only critique is that some plot points seem
Tara Chevrestt
I really enjoyed this author's version of 1001 Nights, so when I discovered she was releasing a book about Countess of Bathory--or so I thought--I was all over it.

I made it to page 200 before I made the mistake of setting it down. I needed a break from the word GOTH. And so, I set it down...and then, I couldn't bring myself to pick it back up. I realized I didn't want to read any more about Daisy, didn't want to see the word GOTH anymore, couldn't stand or understand the Jung crap, and didn't ca
Doroty Ellis
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm having mixed feelings about this book.
I loved the retold part of the story, the modern story didn't resonate with me through. The characters lacked development and closure, we don't really get to see what happens to them.
The chapters alternated between past and present in a choppy way that was hard to follow.
Also the overuse of the word Goth, and Jung was irritating.
I would recommend this book to Erzsébet Báthory fans and people who are interested in psychological thrillers.

This copy was
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Blood of the Prophet (The Fourth Element #2)
  • The Midnight Sea (The Fourth Element, #1)
  • Balthazar's Bane (Gaslamp Gothic Book 6)
  • Indebted to the Vampires (House of Durand, #1)
  • That Night in Paris (Holiday Romance Book 2)
  • One Summer in Santorini (Holiday Romance Book 1)
  • The Imposter's Inheritance (Glass and Steele #9)
  • Queen of Chaos (The Fourth Element, #3)
  • A Vintage Affair
  • House of Durand: Volume 1 (House of Durand, #1-5)
  • Highland Raven (Celtic Blood #1)
  • Logging Off
  • The Bird Eater
  • The Academy of Secrets
  • Isabella: Braveheart of France
  • Le Morte d'Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table
  • The Ghost Walker (Wind River Reservation, #2)
  • Cold Fire
See similar books…
The daughter of a naval commander, Linda Lafferty attended fourteen different schools growing up, ultimately graduating from the University of Colorado with a master's degree and a PhD in education. Her peripatetic childhood nourished a lifelong love of travel, and she studied abroad in England, France, Mexico, and Spain. Her uncle introduced her to the sport of polo when she was just ten years ol ...more

Related Articles

The prolific and beloved author John Grisham, known for his courtroom thrillers, is back this month with a new pageturner, A Time for Mercy,...
37 likes · 7 comments
“I had a photography professor once who said that if you want to capture the truth of a catastrophe, turn your back on it and photograph the emotion in the eyes and faces of the onlookers. That’s the story.” 7 likes
“Who knows only his own generation remains always a child.” 3 likes
More quotes…