Lord of the Dead The Secret History of ByronAuthor: Tom HollandFamed 19th-century poet and rake Lord Byron travels to Greece and becomes the world's most formidable vampire -- entering a dark, intoxicating world of ancient arts and scorching excesses of evil.
By using this Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms of Use. Instead of just having him swoop down from the darkness as this vile, evil-spirited heartless creature. That notion may not explain the aberrant behavior of the much-revered Romantic poet, but it definitely provides a racy foundation for Holland's engaging and sophisticated debut novel.
The journey that Byron takes and the mystical web he weaves keeps the reader totally engulfed. Byron has a very strong sense of conscience, even when he begins to distance himself from the life he once lived and accepts a life of terror, murder, and the curses he will always posess, through it all he always maintains a very mortal conscience that is always evident by everything he does.

The story begins in London in the present, as lovely young Rebecca Carville petitions her lawyer for the keys to the family crypt, where she hopes to find the sole existing copy of Byron's memoirs. It's very sad to watch the events unfold, the regret he feels for what he can no longer control. Instead, she finds Byron himself, who proceeds to tell her the story of how he became a vampire during his journey to Greece. This will please many with it's blending of Horror, Science Fiction,and Adventure with an interesting mix of romance and melancholy. The first half of Byron's account remains within the conventions of the horror genre, as the great poet desperately fights the efforts of the powerful Greek vardoulacha, who eventually drains his blood. Once Byron begins to explore his new nature, however, Holland embarks on a remarkable literary journey, touching on how the poet's burden might have affected his relationships with the women in his life as well as his problematic dealings with Shelley.

Other subplots recall the early Anne Rice novels, particularly the sections in which Byron tries to unite the vampires and help the Greeks in their revolt against the Turks. But the most compelling portions of the book probe the links between blood and family that surface when Byron discovers that he must take the life of a relative in order to maintain his youthful beauty. Both the period detail and the biographical material are exquisitely rendered, and the shocking revelation that brings the story full circle and places Rebecca Carville in extreme peril makes for a nice surprise ending. With this striking, highly original debut, Holland offers a valuable addition to the vampire legend.

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