Synopses & Reviews
Debut author Royce Prouty offers a spellbinding tale of history, folklore, destiny, and redemption.
Joseph Barkeley has a gift. Without the aid of chemical testing, he can accurately determine the authenticity and age of any document, seeing details within the fibers the way a composer picks out the individual notes of a symphony. But rarely does Joseph get a job this delicate and well-paying. A mystery buyer has hired him to authenticate the original draft of Bram Stokers Dracula.
When he travels to Transylvania to personally deliver the manuscript to the legendary Bran Castle, Barkeley, a Romanian orphan himself, soon realizes that his employer is the son of the infamous Vlad Dracula. Imprisoned in the castle and forced to serve the Master,” Barkeley must quickly decipher cryptic messages hidden within Stokers masterpiece to find the Masters long-lost brideor risk wearing out his welcome.
But as he delves into the history of Dracula and his own lineage, Barkeley discovers that his selection for this job was based on more than his talent with rare books. Now, he has a perilous decision to makesave his life with a cowards flight, or wage a deadly battle with an ancient foe.
A Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award finalist for best first novel!
"[A]lmost impossible not to keep reading. Proutys careful, sometimes daring mingling of history and legend with fiction makes for a tantalizing novel in which he interweaves, to great effect, some of the mysteries surrounding the genesis of Draculas writing."—John Edgar Browning, editor of The Forgotten Writings of Bram Stoker
"Proutys debut, a riveting novel of supernatural suspense, deftly mixes fact and fiction involving the manuscript of Bram Stokers great vampire novel, Dracula."—Dacre Stoker, coauthor of Dracula the Un-Dead
"Proutys debut novel will stoke the interest of Dracula lovers everywhere."—Kirkus Reviews
“Dan Brown meets Anne Rice…a compelling novel that is both a literary mystery and a macabre thriller.”
—New York Journal of Books "Proutys debut, a riveting novel of supernatural suspense, deftly mixes fact and fiction involving the manuscript of Bram Stokers great vampire novel, Dracula."
—Publishers Weekly, Signature Review by Dacre Stoker
“Proutys tale captivates with chilling and just enough blood-soaked scenes to intrigue but not overwhelm the reader. It is packed with historical references and asides, which add richness and depth even for readers who are not history buffs.”
"Its almost impossible not to keep reading. Proutys careful, sometimes daring mingling of history and legend with fiction makes for a tantalizing novel in which he interweaves, to great effect, some of the mysteries surrounding the genesis of Draculas writing. Stokers Manuscript is a modernized, self-aware, meta-retelling of Dracula.... Newcomers to Stokers masterpiece will want to go back and read the original tale, and the already diehard fan will want to re-read it.”
—John Edgar Browning, editor of The Forgotten Writings of Bram Stoker
“In all, a fun read, well-plotted….An obvious choice for fans of Dracula and Frankenstein.”
“Stoker's Manuscript is a thriller with bite.” — Fort Worth Star-Telegram
When rare-manuscript expert Joseph Barkeley is hired to authenticate and purchase the original draft and notes for Bram Stoker's Dracula
, little does he know that the reclusive buyer is a member of the oldest family in Transylvania.
After delivering the manuscript to the legendary Bran Castle in Romania, Barkeley—a Romanian orphan himself—realizes to his horror that he's become a prisoner to the son of Vlad Dracul. To earn his freedom, Barkeley must decipher cryptic messages hidden in the text of the original Dracula that reveal the burial sites of certain Dracul family members. Barkeley's only hope is to ensure that he does not exhaust his usefulness to his captor until he’s able to escape. Soon he discovers secrets about his own lineage that suggest his selection for the task was more than coincidence. In this knowledge may lie Barkeley's salvation—or his doom. For now he must choose between a coward's flight and a mortal conflict against an ancient foe.
Building on actual international events surrounding the publication of Bram Stoker's original novel, Royce Prouty has written a spellbinding debut novel that ranges from 1890s Chicago, London, and Transylvania to the perilous present.
About the Author
Royce Prouty is a CPA and business consultant. He and his wife live in Southern California. Stokers Manuscript is his first novel.