Cinderella and Bluebeard is a dark fairy tale based upon the life of Gilles de Rais. As Marshal of France, the Baron de Rais was Joan of Arc’s staunchest supporter both in court and on the battlefield. His devotion to the saint was unwavering even as his peers abandoned Joan in her push north following the liberation of Paris. De Rais’ story did not end with Joan’s death, however, and in one of history’s greatest absurdities, de Rais became drawn to the occult, proceeding upon a campaign of blood and sexual excess which left over 300 dead in its wake.
While Gilles de Rais eventually became the inspiration for the fairy tale of Bluebeard, the baron’s wife’s history invites comparison to that of Cinderella. As the audience’s entry into the novel, Catherine de Thouars is something of an opposite to her flamboyant husband. She is a sympathetic and naïve figure, who, while easily led astray, is capable of making unorthodox decisions and living with the consequences. Catherine grew up an orphan in her own home. Her mother, Celine, had had an extramarital affair before she died leaving Catherine’s parentage in doubt. Now, eighteen years later, Celine returns to her daughter, telling Catherine that she had faked her suicide in order to join her lover in eternal life as a vampire. Catherine accepts her mother’s offer to be bitten, and, with her new powers, Catherine manages to attract the wealthy Baron de Rais, who in turn helps his new wife to regain her birthright. Unfortunately, happiness is not so easily bought, for the acts that Catherine finds herself forced to commit as a vampire repulse her and she refuses to visit her curse upon anyone else, despite de Rais’ wish to remain forever at her side. In desperation, de Rais attempts to discover some alternate means of corrupting himself, even if it means entering into a contract with the devil.
You can read more of the completed novel, with illustrations, on my blog http://www.cinderellaandbluebeard.blogspot.com and also find a full cast of characters, maps, and a family tree.
Andrew M. Boylan, author of Concilium Sanguinarius, and the Media Vampire has reviewed my book, calling Cinderella and Bluebeard, "A visceral novel filled with dynastic intrigue and bloody melee," and saying, "I just ate this up. It was exceptionally well written and very well edited."
Full review at http://taliesinttlg.blogspot.com/2016/07/cinderella-and-bluebeard-review.html