Shane K.P O Neill has done a masterful job in writing this book He provides a new and unique look into the story of Dracula and provides some thought provoking ideas on what it is like in hell This book will stimulate your imagination as it entertains you Bound By Blood is among the best vampire novels I have read. I love to read, so I try to pick up a book whenever I can Fiction and specifically horror, are my true loves So when I picked up Bound by Blood Volume 1, I was hoping for a good read I didn t get that I got a great read Writing about Dracula s origins in all it s bloody glory is no small feat, and author Shane O Neill embraces this with wonderful imagery and brutal honesty Through all the great historical descriptions, the book moves at a good pace and the author gets you interested in the characters, especially Vlad himself Dracula has not seemed this fresh in years, and I highly recommend you, the reader to embrace your inner vampire and read this book I can t wait to read Volume 2 Well done. There is a reason why all things are as they are Bram Stoker, DraculaVlad III, Prince of Wallachia, of the House of Dr cule ti, becomes a pawn in the age old battle between good and evil in his attempt to return to Heaven and dethrone God, the fallen angel Lucifer sets his plans into motion he grants Vlad immortal life as a vampire and commands the Voivode of Wallachia to wage war against the Catholic Church no matter what the cost author Shane KP O Neill blends facts, folklore and myth and goes beyond them in creating a darker and plausible account of the Dracula legend spanning centuries, this outstanding debut is rich in detail it offers a behind the scenes look at how Vlad Dracula schemes his way and manipulates well known historical figures in his attempt to bring down the Catholic religion Niccolo Machiavelli, the Borgias, Martin Luther, Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn are some of history s famous men and woman whom Dracula befriends and wittingly destroys this novel is not for the faint of heart so be forewarned although the language is very graphic and there are some sexual situations that may shock some readers, they are necessary to the plot this is a tale of darkness after all yet there is also hope and goodness among its pages as well overall, this an engrossing and entertaining book that will delight readers who love historical fiction, vampires or a combination of both i was impressed by its scope and i highly recommend it over, i look forward to reading the next chronicles Note this review covers Volumes 1 and 2 of Bound By Blood The Dracula Chronicles Disclosure of Material Connection i received a copy for review i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book s publisher and publicist or the readers of this review this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The author of Dracula Chronicles novel series, Shane KP O Neill, got sucked into a mythical world just as he began and kept on studying the historical figure of Vlad Dracula after watching Christopher Lee s Dracula on silver screen for the first time Deciding on materializing a series of nine novels according to his plan which combine his interest in both Medieval history and writing, O Neill drags his readers with the first two volumes in the series into the unknown depth of the myth of Dracula woven by love, revenge and design which all starts with Bram Stoker s Dracula This long running adventure in which historical events and prominent characters are displayed towards the author s own fiction may draw the attention of adult readers who take interest in history, vampires and Dracula in particular Dracula Chronicles stands apart from the thousands of others such as the prequel novels inspired by original gothic classic Dracula and other novels that are included in vampire erotica or vampire soap opera drifts Just because here we are talking about a series of novels which create difference with its own treat of Dracula tale, the 15th century history, religious and mythological episodes, yet embellished with reformist and unconventional ideas You readers must be prepared for an overdose of violent and sexual imagery and blood baths that you used to watch only on the silver screen too While opting for a kind of narration which keeps visuality and lengthy dialogues in the foreground, it would not be wrong to claim that O Neill greatly facilitates the job for those who like to fantasize while reading The first book Bound by Blood which is deepening with a complicated fiction is the first piece of a project that is substantially artsy and scary but self assured at the same time Bound by Blood , has become the first book in the series to get published The author explains the reason behind this by saying, I have opted to begin the series with this book, Chronicle III This is where my reader will see Dracula as a vampire for the first time A dear friend suggested to me that my readers probably wouldn t want to wait until a third book before they saw a vampire The story unfolds with an epic and dramatic epilogue Here explained how the historical figure Vlad Dracula fights his last battle and puts an end to his life as a human being And the most anticipated question of How did he become a vampire in the first place is answered at first hand in this chapter Dracula revived with the blood of Lucifer that is the ultimate enemy of Catholic Church, also becomes a servant of the Devil for eternity Dracula s big adventure after becoming a crucial part of the Devil s great scheme of bringing the end of human race starts at the monastery of Snagov where he exhales his last breath as human and turns into a kind of blood sucking demon Dracula must fight against his brother Andrei who takes an oath of destroying him in the end while trying to take Catholicism down Some parts of the book may create the effect of actually watching a snuff film If you don t like to face those kind of sights at all for instance if you haven t been able to watch Tv series Rome or Spartacus without a blink then this series may not be your cup of tea But there s little doubt that some readers who do miss the old days when vampires were truly intimidating and evil will kick their heels to read the rest of this story after the first book is finished Because you will enjoy witnessing the first encounter of Lucifer and Dracula as a little child in the years of his enslavery by the Ottomans and then Lucifer s safeguarding him in the next book Dracula Chronicles continues with the first book Birth of the Monster which tells us the beginning of the legend. The origins of Dracula s life as the Lord of the Undead and the beginnings of his rise to power are explored in this exciting new novel by Shane K.P O Neill It s the 15th century and the war between Heaven and Hell is constant Lucifer is strengthening his forces, and his newest recruit is none other than Prince Vlad Tepes Dracula Tasked with spreading horror in the Evil One s name, Dracula sets out to claim as many Earthly souls as he can for his unholy master Little does Dracula know, however, that God and Heaven have a new recruit of their own, an enemy who is closer to Dracula than even he realizes Shane K.P O Neill s story is as rich in historical context as it is in vampire lore Setting Dracula up as a pivotal figure in the Protestant Reformation, even going so far as to have him encounter Martin Luther, is a stroke of genius The relationship between vampirism and the church is explored, as is the connection between vampirism and sexuality and thankfully in a very un TWILIGHT way To Dracula and his brethren, sex, like their need for blood, is merely a baser instinct that must be satisfied.The dichotomy of good vs evil also permeates the novel There is always a balance of power, and the fact that the world is always teetering on the edge gives the events a strong sense of urgency.A thrilling and intense read, THE DRACULA CHRONICLES BOUND BY BLOOD VOLUME ONE is both a horror thriller and a tale of religious power plays Looking forward to the next installment. Bound by Blood Volume 1 started out with the best action scene that I have read in a long time Vlad Dracula was a fierce warrior and kicked some major butt Swords, knives and arrows and a lot of blood a whole lot of blood I couldn t tear my eyes away, the fight scene was so good Vlad finally gets himself in a pickle and you ask yourself, How in the world is he gonna get out of this Well you will be surprised because HE shows up Now I m already a scaredy cat when it comes to books like this, but unexpectedly, Shane pulled a laugh out of me with some of the dialog Now who would ask Lucifer a question like that As I went along reading the story of Vlad, I kind of felt bad for him especially when there was a chance for him to have a companion I m always a sucker for romance.The story was ruff, gory, but entertaining as hell One thing for sure, Vlad was a bad ass There was a scene where he was about to die from drinking consecrated blood and he needed a special blood to cure him As people were rushing him to stop him, he just walked on and did his thing I m so in love Then again, he was an evil son of a gun and so was his kid Should I love em or hate em Shane O Neil makes you question yourself.I ve read many books and watched a lot of action films and the way Shane writes his scenes, I can surely see the fighting in motion, each slash, each stab, with guts galore Not only does this book have gooey goriness, it also has an actual story surrounding a family that is bent on revenge upon their enemies, upon themselves and anybody else that slighted them I don t know if I want to see them all burn in Hell or what These are clearly bad people but the way they are written, I sometimes don t think they re all that bad, at least in this fictitious book If they were real yea, burn baby burn.Okay, as you can see, I m loving this read and blabbering on, but I will leave you with this, you want to read a new take on Dracula s beginnings and see how he became the supernatural urban legend that he was without all the fancy fru fruness yea, I made that up of certain I won t say vampire stories You will want to read Bound by Blood Volume 1 I am getting the next Bound by Blood Volume 2 because I m so scared, I can t stay away. The Dracula Chronicles Bound By Blood is the first volume of what I hope are several installments in this great new series Shane O Neill has created an epic tale set in the 15th century about the struggles between good and evil and through the use of historical references, as well as his very vivid imagination, he has created a world worth a close look O Neill seamlessly blends folklore and mythology with actual history to create a dark and disturbing picture of Dracula and the time period in which it is set This is not a romanticized version of this well known tale and, in fact, through its use of actual historical figures it manages to bring a healthy dose of reality to bear I found O Neill s choice to take this approach very interesting and it serves the story and his viewpoint very well.Bound by Blood has graphic moments but how could a book about Dracula not But amidst the treachery and mayhem, there are moments of hope and humanity This is a very good book and I have no doubt that fans of this genre will enjoy it immensely This series is a great addition to my reading list and I m looking forward to seeing where Mr O Neill takes it in subsequent books. I am absolutely blown away Bound by Blood came blowing in like a breath of fetid air This story is a powerful and sweeping epic The language, the settings, the charactersthey all exude Classic This story took me back to where my love of vampire novels originated, to the character who started it all and what a an interesting and captivating twist on the story I am in love with the idea of a great battle raging between Heaven and hell This base gives the story so much meaning and raises the stakes so to speak and intensity of the writing I love that O Neill did nothing to soften up the brutality of Dracula, that he represented him as just what he is.a creature of Lucifer s making and yet we still want to follow his story Brilliant Shane O Neill s The Dracula Chronicles is an ambitious project O Neill combines elements of the traditional Dracula story with chunks of Goethe s Faust and positions his tale against an epic historical backdrop.This Dracula is literally a child of Hell, acting both as the central protagonist but also as a pawn of the fallen Lucifer Waging war against the forces of Heaven, the Devil is playing a long game against his immortal Adversary as he employs the damned Voivode to bring about the downfall of the Catholic Church.The author cleverly intertwines the fictional vampire and his psychopathic family with actual persons and events from European history, ranging from Machiavelli and the Medicis to Martin Luther In doing so he subtly and sometimes not so subtly re writes several of the critical episodes of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries This is a difficult balancing act, but it is handled with skill and imagination and, might I say, not a little panache.O Neill acknowledges one or two leaps of faith distortions in his methodology, but he peppers the novel with enough real historical research to give the reader a proper history lesson, as well as a slanted one He is, for instance, one of the few re tellers of the Dracula story to recount correctly that the real life Impaler ruled over Wallachia, not Transylvania.The writing is visceral as befits the brutality of the age Some of the violence and rapine may make the sensitive reader wince, but the context is undoubtedly correct As one might expect there is lots of sex, gore and medieval cruelty This is NOT a vampire story sanitised for the Twilight generation, but a tale of hatred and revenge, and of the struggle between the powers of Light and Darkness.Volume 1 of the Chronicles begins with a brilliant description of the aftermath of the Battle of Snagov in 1476 and ends with the stirrings of the Reformation I am eager to see where Shane O Neill s restless mind takes us with Volume 2, and which specific historical happenings will provide further fodder for this bold re imagining of the Dracula legend. A War Rages On Around Us Every Day The Struggle To Save All Mankind The Ultimate Evil As His Moment Of Death Looms Dracula Suffers The Ultimate Betrayal The Champion Of The Catholic Faith In Eastern Europe Realises It Is Lucifer Who Is Coming To Claim Him However, Lucifer Does Not Want His Soul Instead He Bites Into Dracula S Neck And Then Offers His Own Blood To Drink Dracula Suffers His Mortal Death, But He Re Awakens Immortalised With Lucifer S Blood Coursing Through His Veins, The Two Are Bound By Blood For Eternity Lucifer Has Groomed Him For This Day And Lays Out The Task Before Him Dracula Is To Destroy The Institution Of That Which He Has Championed For So Long By Bringing Down The Catholic Church He Can Undo The Crucifixion And Turn Man Against God Once If He Succeeds Then Lucifer Will Ascend Again To Heaven And Signal The End For All Mankind The Dracula Chronicles Is A Dark And Terrifying New Concept Based On The Real Historical Vlad Dracula It Is An Epic Journey Through The Ages Where The Forces Of Light And Darkness Struggle For Supremacy Until The Second Great War, As Foretold In The Book Of RevelationsThis Bitter Feud Begins After The Creation Of Mankind Lucifer S Jealousy Leads To The First Great War Of The Angels Hundreds Of Thousands Of Years On The Feud Simmers Beneath The Surface It Plots The Course Of History As We Know It Today Both Sides Manipulate The Major Players Through The Centuries To Seek An Advantage Over The OtherOn A Cold Night In December In Sighisoara An Old Gypsy Woman Delivers A Prophecy To The Great Vlad Dracul She Tells Him He Is About To Sire Two Sons, One An Angel And The Other A DevilHe Returns To His Fortress Just As His Wife Bears Him A Son, Whom He Names Vlad In The Very Same Moment Across The Country On The Border Between Transylvania And Hungary A Gypsy Girl Gives Birth To Another Son, Andrei The Die Is Cast The Twin Souls Are Born The Young Vlad Dracula Becomes The Instrument Of The Forces Of Darkness To Balance This, The Baby Andrei Is Blessed By The Angels And Bestowed With Awesome PowersThese Chronicles Are Their StoryUND BY BLOOD VOLUME Is A Dark And Powerful Page Turner That Will Question What You Think And Feel And How Much You Value Your Soul