Javier Garcia Sanchez is a well-known and respected novelist in Spain. He has more than twenty novels to his name, some prize-winning, and of which at least two others can be classified as historical fiction, including Robespierre, another exploration of a person responsible for a great deal of bloodshed. This is a full-length historical novel framed and focalized by an ageing Franciscan friar called Janos Pirgist who grew up in one of Bathory’s castles because his mother was a servant there. This character seems to be a fictional creation, although the mother appears by name in at least one other version of Bathory’s life. In the course of her story, people meet several important secondary characters: her aunt Klara, who started her on her terrifying spiral into the depths of evil; the witch Darvulia, who taught her which plants were poisonous and hallucinatory.