The Vampire genre of ‘speculative fiction’ was long overdue for a new vision, a new perspective, and a real kick in the ass. Few vampire tales choose to portray the creatures as powerful, savage, and complicated, despite their obvious attributes, which declare them as such. Many writers have made vampires powerful, but mostly to comic, romantic, or just plain ‘fan boy’ effect. Fewer writers have depicted them as savage beasts. Then, writers who choose to portray these creatures as calculated or aristocratic always lose the two traits of power and savagery. In Dracula, the brutality was primarily implied until the latter scenes, and even then, we could imagine far more than was shown. In this way Bram Stoker set the ‘vampire template’ to perfection, and artists have been trying and failing to match it ever since. That being said, when I read The Vampires of Dreach Fola, I got that certain feeling again—the sense that we are dealing with a very powerful and driven, savage aristocracy that exists in a way we cannot understand or experience. Not since Charles Williams, and Stoker before him, and Dante before him, has horror fiction of this depth and caliber been written. Scáth Beorh takes us on a journey many readers will deeply regret, the terror is so debilitating, the escape so narrow. Be warned. This is not reading you should undertake before bedtime… unless, of course, you can outwit your own nightmares.
Scáth Beorh, veteran fantasist and risk-taker in the anemic literary environment of our postmodern day, brings with his latest masterwork ‘The Vampires of Dreach Fola,’ a genre-defying investigation of sorcery and witchcraft in all of its seemingly divergent guises. Step into the world of the Living Dead with caution, and with prayer.