A biography of the 15th Century Prince of Romania, Vlad Dracula (1431-1476), nicknamed the Impale and on whom Bram Stoker based his fictional character. It covers his career as ruler of Wallachia, terror of Transylvania and crusader against the Turks and examines how closely he compares to his fictional counterpart. It shows 'Vlad the Impaler' to be a man as extraordinary in his political and crusading abilities as he was in his evil. Considered a hero by the Pope and his fellow Romanians whom he liberated from the Turks and generations of Russian Turks studied accounts of his political genius and used his regime as a model for their own. Yet despite all these things Vlad is remembered chiefly for his crimes, excessive in both nature and number. The 'Impaler' got his name for protecting his capital from the Turks by constructiong ''a forest of the impaled''. Only in the context of his times - a time of plague, the beginning of the Renaissance, of cut-throat politics and conflict between East and West - can one understand fully the many faces of Dracula.
In this definitive biography covering Vlad Dracula's life and subsequent legend, readers will discover that life can truly be more terrifying than fiction.
A shocking page-turner...A convincingly humanized portrait - New York TIMES BOOK REVIEW