A Dowry of Blood, by author and theologian, S. T. Gibson is an atmospheric and brutal revisiting of Dracula. Epistolary, Dowry is relayed in decadent, lyrical prose as Constanta, the first of Dracula’s brides, exhumes her tumultuous relationship with her husband, her immortality, and her faith. Each wife and husband they add to their family brings a new understanding to the already intricate relationship. As Constanta explores her inner and outer worlds, we’re treated to glimpses of history--plague, revolution, and industrialization--as vibrant as they are fleeting. This choice mirrors perfectly how our mortal world is viewed by the immortal predators who walk, not through it, but on its outskirts.
Dowry was the perfect taste of darkness in a year that could not be sugar-coated. We are treated to a story of vengeance and despair as much as romance and lust, and Gibson crafts each facet with precision. It was an achingly honest depiction of the altered state living with an abuser becomes, and the myriad threads one uses to manipulate and control their victims. This was my first bite of Gibson’s writing and I can safely say I can’t wait to devour the rest of her work and all its blood, faith, and passion.
Recommended to readers who don’t run from the darkness, but welcome it with open arms. 5 out of 5 stars!