Audiobook Review: ‘A Dowry of Blood’

This is a book I had on my TBR but forgot about until I saw it appear on so many peoples best of 2021 lists – and I knew I had to make it a priority to read this one soon, and I’m so glad I did!

Title: A Dowry of Blood
Author: S.T. Gibson
Series: Standalone
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Vampires, LGBTQ+

Goodreads Summary

This book was….weird, to say the least, but I also loved it? This is the book I didn’t know I needed, but I needed it and I loved it. It’s vampires and queer af and passionate.

It’s a lyrical and dreamy retelling of Dracula’s brides – which, I’m the first to admit, I can’t say I’m familiar with. I can make assumptions, but I went into this just knowing it was about Dracula, so, vampires.

This is told in first person POV of Constanta telling her life story in a letter format from being turned into a vampire and her hundreds of years of life with him – Dracula’s name is never mentioned, it’s always ‘him’ or various forms of master, which I found interesting.

This is a quick story and once I started, I couldn’t put it down. We learn about Constanta and her adjusting to being a vampire. Soon Dracula finds another consort to add to his harem, Magdalena. The two women become sisters, rivals, and lovers along with Dracula. This is an odd type of found family story. Constanta is always referred to as “wife” but Magdalena still plays a significant role and she isn’t denied any pleasure. This entire story spans over hundreds of years from about the 1400s to the 1900s.

Many years later Dracula decides to bring Alexi into their “family”, a young actor, and I love seeing how their dynamic changes once again. There is a M/F/F/M polyam relationship by the end of this book, with all characters being bisexual as well. There is plenty of bloodshed and death and sex in this book, as one might expect from a vampire novel.

This was stunning and I’m so happy I finally read it. It’s one you should truly experience for yourself, and yes its a little weird, but trust me and go with it. It’s worth it.

There is also an epilogue novella titled An Encore of Roses which you can read here, from the authors newsletter. It’s not necessary to read this, but I felt it was a nice little addition to the ADOB world.

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I’ve seen some reviews say its better to read the print version of this lyrical writing, but I fully enjoyed listening to it. My typical audio speed these days is 2.5x speed, but I slowed it down to 2.10x speed for this one and I’m glad I did, to fully appreciate the words spoken. I think this one is wonderful as audio and would recommend it if that’s your thing!

My Rating:

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I’m picky with my vampire novels and this one really hit the mark – I loved it and highly recommend this. I now understand why it was on so many peoples best of 2021 list – and might be on my best of 2022 list, that’s how much I enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a vampire novel – pick this one up.

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