The Impaler’s Wife by Autumn Bardot ~Audiobook Review~

The Impaler’s Wife by Autumn Bardot is narrated by Samantha Desz and was instantly added to my TBR when I found it on Goodreads. I absolutely love gothic historical fiction. This book jumps between two timelines. One that begins with Vlad as a child and the tragic and traumatizing past he experiences. The second is when he meets Ilona, his future wife. Ilona is the cousin of King Matthias, so her marriage will be strategic but it is love at first sight when she sees Vlad. After her destiny is foretold, she knows that Vlad is the only one for her. She is captivated by how handsome he is but also the dark side that lurks underneath.

Trigger Warnings: Rape, Miscarriage, Child Loss, Sexual Assault, Gruesome Murder and Torture

Unfortunately, this is another disappointment. I wanted a gothic historical fiction that chronicles the life of Vlad and how he became a hero to his people but how he got the reputation that would end up being legendary. We do get a little bit of that in the past timeline as he is growing up. But it is considerably less than the present timeline. The present timeline of Ilona and Vlad meeting is excruciating. I have never heard “nether regions” mentioned so many times in my life. While I do enjoy a good steamy historical romance, this is not it. Their entire relationship is sexual and abusive. It was repetitive and disappointing and did nothing to add to Vlad’s story. I would have also loved to see Ilona become more than just his sexual partner. Every moment where she starts to shine does not last long. Overall, this book was not for me. The narration did not help. For a book that takes place in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the language came across as extremely modern. I rate this audiobook 2 out of 5 stars.

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