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The Lost by Jonathan Aycliffe

The Lost (1996)

by Jonathan Aycliffe

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Cambridge prep school teacher Michael Feraru was tired of his life, tired of his job, and -- though he didn't realize it -- tired of Sophie and her safe, undemanding love. So he took a sabbatical and went to Romania, to claim the property his grandparents had abandoned after World War II. Once there, he discovered he was a titled lord and owner of an ancient stronghold in the Transylvanian Alps, Castel Vlaicu.

The whole adventure was a lark until the gypsy recognized him, until he picked up the doll, and then saw the girl -- the unexpected, unexplainable, irresistible dark-eyed girl.

For it was then that Michael learned the truth: that there was an evil older than time, an evil that reached back to the very origins of his shattered family -- and forward to his own dark future. He was about to learn the secret of the strigoi--the undead. Not vampires. Something far more seductive. And far, far worse.
  jare | Oct 2, 2006 |
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This is for Beth and Nancy, without whose constancy, love, and unswerving attention none of this would have been possible.
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1. Postcard from Michael Feraru to Sophie Wandless


23 October

My Dearest Sophie,

I don't know what to write, or how to write it if I did.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061054836, Paperback)

Jonathan Aycliffe draws on the first part of Bram Stoker's Dracula for the bones of his story--a naive Englishman travels to a remote, forbidding castle in the mountains of Transylvania (postcommunist Romania)--and then fleshes it out with appealing characters and a different (but unabashedly gothic) plot. Aycliffe's writing is simple and fluid, concisely developing the shifting emotions and relationships as the dark underbelly of the story slowly reveals itself. The evil beings in The Lost are not vampires, but strigoï--free-floating shades of an ancient family of lords. They die and yet don't decay. Their appetites are even more unspeakable than bloodsucking. As Gahan Wilson writes in Realms of Fantasy, "If you enjoy this sort of thing at all, you will have a fine, frightening time as Aycliffe hints at and then delivers nasty surprises, ghastly revelations, and increasingly appalling villainies."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A British professor travels to Romania to reclaim his family's haunted castle for an orphanage. The trip turns into a hair-raising experience as he meets bureaucracy, backward peasants, a ghost, and a femme fatale with ambitions for a less charitable and more money-making enterprise.… (more)

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