Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Bloodletter’s Daughter (4) – Linda Lafferty

Right now I'm doing a weird backwards/forwards thing where I'm currently reading books, which I'll hopefully continue to post about, but I also read a half dozen books that I haven't posted about because I was in grad school and doing plays and didn't have time to think about anything else. So, if you're curious, this is the book I read before Outlander 

Marketa is a young woman living in a remote corner of Bohemia. Much of her time is spent with her mother working in their family’s bathhouse, where her mother is preparing Marketa to become a full-fledged bathmaid, preparing her to auction her virginity to the highest bidder. But what Marketa wants is to apprentice with her father the bloodletter. She often is brought along to help with his bloodlettings, and loves to study medicine and how to best balance the humors. If you think that’s juicy – just wait. The emporer decides to cloister away his insane bastard son, Don Julius in Marketa’s village. Where, you guessed it, he needs a bloodletter. He can see Marketa from his window and swears that he will not let anyone but her draw blood from his veins. As the prince’s obsession with Marketa grows, so does his ability to hide his insanity from her, and she finds herself drawn to him.

Bathhouse, circa sometime in history
Based on a true story, but one I’d never heard of, which is my favorite kind of historical fiction. This book really got interesting once Don Julius showed up in town. Before that I was a little confused about where it was going. But Lafferty hit the trifecta when she introduced a like-minded scientist love interest, dangled the threat of the bathhouse, and brought in a creepy obsessive lover who Marketa’s mother wants to sell her too because FAME AND FORTUNE. Obviously. All Marketa wants is to be a doctor/bloodletter, but even that throws her into her mother’s crazy schemes.

This book snuck up on me. I don’t know how I found this book exactly, I think Amazon told me I could buy it for a dollar so I did. And then Audible was like, “but wait! For just $2.99 you could have the audiobook as well!” so I bought it too. Oh impulse buys…sometimes actually the best buys? There’s nothing better than browsing a book store or library and just picking up the prettiest most you-est looking book. That’s how I found The Creation of Eve which is also great historical fiction but less creepy and I loved it just as much.

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