Awhile ago I read the Lair of the white wyrm by stoker and the sexism was SOOO bad it put me off reading anything else by him for ages. But I thought I'd give him one more try as I already had a copy of this book and I really liked the Jewel of the seven stars. The only explanation for this book I can think of is that he got paid by the word. It was so bizarre. It started with a nice haunting little tale of a ghost seen at sea. Then came an incredibly boring section with lawyers as someone's will was discussed and there was all this boring background to a family written by a pretentious idiot. Then the young hero, 7 ft tall, a veteran of all sorts of wild adventures in foreign parts, inherits a billion pounds and becomes virtually royalty in the Balkan country of Blue Mountains. There are some wonderful and lovely scenes when he gets there and is haunted by the Lady in the shroud. Her visits are amazing and the ritual in the old church in the night is lovely and creepy. Then with about 150 pages left her "secret" is revealed and there is nothing interesting or supernatural going on. The rest of the book is an odd mixture of adventure story and boring exposition. They end up making the hero their king after he marries the girl. There is an AWFUL speech she gives when he wants to make her joint queen about how a woman's place is just in the home with her family and how women really aren't the equal of men at all and shouldn't try to be. There are also lots of bizarre scenes with areoplanes which show that Stoker really didn't understand how they worked at all, having them act more like hot air ballons or hellicopters! (hoovering in place).
It's a shame as it would have been a really nice short story if it had just stuck with the spooky parts, but as it was I really didn't enjoy it that much. Don't think I'll bother with any more books by Mr. Stoker!...Continua