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Literature / The Diaries of the Family Dracul

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The Diaries of the Family Dracul is a vampire trilogy by Jeanne Kalogridis that serves as a prequel/re-telling of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The series centers around the titular family, the Tsepesh clan, of which Prince Vlad Tsepesh, who in reality is Dracula, is the head of. The story focuses on Dracula's great-nephew, Arkady, and his attempts to destroy Dracula and free his family from their centuries-old enslavement. Like Dracula, the books are written in diary form.

The books in the trilogy are:

  1. Covenant with the Vampire
  2. Children of the Vampire
  3. Lord of the Vampires

This series provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Zsuzsanna refers to Arkady as "Kasha".
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Covenant ends with Arkady being transformed into a vampire by Vlad.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Zsuszanna weeps upon the death of her brother Arkady at the hands of Vlad.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Prince Vlad Tsepesh and Countess Elisabeth of Bathory.
  • The Atoner: Arminius, aka the Dark One, sacrificed the souls of innocents in exchange for purchasing immortality, but felt remorse for his actions and attempts to atone for this by mentoring Abraham to stop Vlad.
  • Back from the Dead: Arkady in Lord of the Vampires.
  • The Beastmaster: Vlad can bend dogs and wolves to his will, making them lash out at unsuspecting humans or preventing them from feeding on livestock.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Sadistic vampiress Elisabeth is frequently noted for her stunning beauty, to the point of easily seducing Zsuzsanna, who herself is very alluring.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Dracula is Vlad the Impaler.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Lord of the Vampires features both Vlad and Countess Elisabeth of Bathory competing with each other to obtain the manuscript capable of granting them godhood.
  • Child Eater: Many vampires will gladly feast upon infants and children as well as adults.
  • The Corrupter: Vlad takes this role towards the firstborn Tsepesh son each generation, as part of his covenant with the Dark Lord entails that the firstborn son must be willingly corrupted to ensure Vlad's immortality.
  • Creepy Uncle: Vlad engages in an incestuous relationship with his great-niece, Zsuzsanna.
  • Dead Guy Junior:
    • Arkady's son, Stefan, is named after his deceased brother. However, his name was changed to Abraham by Mary to protect him from Vlad, while his half-brother adopted the name in his stead.
    • Similarly, Abraham's son Jan is named after his father.
  • Deal with the Devil: How Vlad and Elisabeth became vampires.
  • Death of a Child: In Children of the Vampire, Abraham comes across the body of a young girl recently bitten by a vampire, and is forced to kill her as she rises from the grave as a newly-transformed vampire.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Elisabeth engages in sexual encounters with men and women alike, while simultaneously bathing in blood.
  • Driven to Madness: This is the fate that tends to befall members of the Tsepesh household as a result of Vlad's influence.
  • Eats Babies: Most vampires will gladly feast upon infants if given the chance.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Zsuzsanna continues to hold some affection for her brother Arkady even as she plots against him with Vlad, and she breaks down in tears upon his death. She also cares for her maid, Dunya, and transforms her into a vampire to spare her from death.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She may drink from the blood of mortals, but Zsuzsanna at least prefers to give her victims a quick death, and is not fond of Vlad's predilection to torture his victims.
  • Evil Old Folks: Vlad has been around for centuries, and hasn't grown softer with age.
  • The Evil Prince: Prince Vlad Tsepesh.
  • Evil Uncle:
    • Vlad, to Arkady.
    • Zsuzsanna becomes an evil aunt towards Abraham and Stefan.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Vlad and Elisabeth spend much of Lord of the Vampires in conflict with one another in order to attain possession of the manuscript To Him Who Would Become the Eater of Souls, which would grant them godhood.
  • Ghost Town: The Transylvanian village becomes this in Children of the Vampire as a result of the villagers fleeing for fear of being preyed upon by Dracula.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Mary.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Zsuzsanna in Lord of the Vampires.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade:
    • Vlad the Impaler made a pact with the Devil in exchange for becoming a vampire, and has spent centuries feeding on the blood of hundreds, primarily infants.
    • Countess Elisabeth of Bathory was already a Serial Killer with a bodycount numbering in the hundreds while she was still alive. After she became a vampire, she became even worse.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Vampires are kept at bay by religious items.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Dracula tells Zsuzsanna that Elisabeth is a cruel and manipulative bitch who is only using her and does not care about her, although Dracula is not in a position to speak, he is right about Elisabeth.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Zsuzsanna's driving motivation, particular in the third book. After coming to realize that Vlad doesn't truly care for her, she turns to Elisabeth, hoping to find a loving companion in her instead, only for Elisabeth to reveal herself to be just as callous as Vlad.
  • I Love the Dead: One of Vlad's servants, Laszlo, is shown having his way with the corpse of one of Vlad's most recent victims.
  • Immortality Immorality: In exchange for immortality, Vlad sacrificed the souls of every firstborn Tsepesh son for every generation to the Dark Lord.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Elisabeth and Zsuzsanna become lovers, though they also enjoy sexual flings with men as well.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Elisabeth plays on Zsuzsanna's desire for genuine love and seduces her, all the while secretly planning to sacrifice her soul to the Dark Lord as part of their pact.
  • The Mentor: Arminius functions as this towards Bram throughout the second and third books, instructing him on how to do battle with and destroy Vlad's spawn and to conceal his aura.
  • Mind Control: Vampires can bend the minds of mortals to their whim, though there is a limit to how many people they can control at a time. Vlad uses this ability to control the minds of his family members, particularly Arkady and Zsuzsanna, but loses his control over them after turning them into vampires.
  • Offing the Offspring: Abraham is forced to kill his son Jan after he is transformed into a vampire by Zsuzsanna.
  • Off with His Head!: The corpses of those killed by vampires must have their heads removed to prevent them returning as a vampire.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They aren't killed by sunlight, merely weakened, they can take a number of different forms, such as wolves and the mist, and they can entrance mortals by looking into their eyes. A vampire also cannot kill another vampire, and to prevent a bitten mortal from returning as a vampire, the body must be decapitated and staked.
  • The Professor: Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
  • Psychic Link: Between Gerda and Zsuzsanna after the latter bites the former. Gerda physical state reflects upon Zsuzsanna, and she speaks as if she is in Zsuzsanna's situation.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Stefan is killed half-way through Children of the Vampire.
  • Serial Killer: Elisabeth of Bathory is said to have tortured and murdered over 600 virgins in her lifetime, and that figure has increased tenfold since her transformation into a vampire.
  • Stronger with Age: Vlad, being centuries old, proves more powerful than the recently-transformed Arkady.
  • Undead Child:
    • Abraham's son Jan becomes this in Children of the Vampire after being bitten by Zsuzsanna. He later encounters another one and is forced to Mercy Kill her.
    • The human band comes across a trio of them in Lord of the Vampires, courtesy of Elisabeth and Zsuzsanna.
  • The Vamp: Elisabeth of Bathory, both figuratively and literally.
  • Vampire Hunter: Abraham Van Helsing spends over two decades wiping out Vlad's spawn, strengthening himself while at the same time weakening Vlad.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Vampires are noted for their attractiveness and can mesmerize their victims into taking part in sexual encounters with them.
  • Villainous Incest: Between Zsuzsanna and Vlad, and later Elisabeth.
  • Was Once a Man: All vampires were once human, the Dark Lord included.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Vlad regularly feeds upon infants, and also had his great-nephew, and Arkady's brother, Stefan, killed.
    • Elisabeth has a young girl tortured to death, and she and Zsuzsanna feed upon three children in Transylvania and transform them into vampires.
    • Shortly upon her transformation into a vampire, Lucy preys upon a young boy, but is stopped before he can be fully drained.