A Thunderbolt Into Nettle

Fiction - Magic/Wizardry
400 Pages
Reviewed on 01/05/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Thunderbolt Into Nettle is a work of fiction penned by author Samantha E Talbot in the historical, occult suspense, and dark drama subgenres. It is best suited to adult readers owing to some moderate scenes of violence. Readers are invited to explore the gruesome legacy of Countess Elizabeth Bathory through the eyes of Astrid Rimensberger, a headstrong Silesian noblewoman. Astrid infiltrates the countess's service to rescue her sister, uncovering a web of chilling secrets and occult ambitions. What results is a dark glimpse into the historical horror genre, weaving a tale of societal barriers, cruel ambitions, and sacrificial legacies.

Author Samantha E Talbot has crafted a riveting reading experience that chronicles a descent into the macabre world of one of history's most infamous figures. Talbot's narrative mastery vividly paints the horrors of Bathory's acts while capturing Astrid's resilience against the societal norms of class and power, and I loved the juxtaposition of these two forces colliding for maximum drama. The story is not merely a historical account of one of the world’s lesser-known serial killers but a sharply-penned psychological thriller delving into the inner terrains of what makes a monster tick. I was also really impressed with the cultural overtones of historical Europe that are peppered into the narrative, with accurate and convincing details that keep you rooted in history. Overall, A Thunderbolt Into Nettle is a haunting journey that explores the depths of human darkness and the courage needed to confront it, providing a gripping and atmospheric reading experience that I would highly recommend.

Miche Arendse

After the death of her father, Astrid Rimensberger must now dive headfirst into dangerous waters to save what is left of her family in A Thunderbolt Into Nettle by Samantha E. Talbot. When her sister Ingrid suddenly stops communicating with the family, Astrid takes it upon herself to find out why, which leads her into the service of Countess Erzsébet Báthory. What sort of treachery will she uncover at the gloomy castle? Will she be able to save her sister or is it already too late?

A Thunderbolt Into Nettle by Samantha E. Talbot is a thrilling tale following Astrid in her bold adventure to find her sister. From the start, we are met with an eerie atmosphere which perfectly sets the tone. Dark and mysterious seems to be the most accurate description for this story and I mean that in the best way. Not only is the countess a looming evil presence throughout the plot but there is a notable presence of the supernatural which I really enjoyed. Astrid’s character is very headstrong and I think, considering the circumstances, that was very much needed especially seeing how she handles every problem thrown her way. I also really enjoyed Hannah’s character and I feel that she gave a unique edge to the story. Overall, the plot was great and definitely kept the reader on their toes. The pacing was just right, neither too fast-paced nor dragged out either. The balance between information given and world-building made this book easy to breeze through.

Divine Zape

A Thunderbolt Into Nettle by Samantha E. Talbot is an engaging tale that will delight readers who love historical fiction with fully fleshed-out characters and disturbing themes. Countess Bathory is a ruthless serial killer, a monster. Astrid Rimensberger is a noblewoman from Silesia whose sister is estranged from her, finishing her studies at the countess’ school. Having lost all communication with her sister, Astrid decides to enter into the countess’ employ, disguised as a servant, to save her sister. What she discovers is shocking, an evil that is destroying lives at the altar of the countess’s perverse mission. Astrid must tread carefully as she unveils one dark secret after another. But can she save her sister and the others enslaved with her?

I was gripped by the very first pages that introduced Hannah, a character through which the author builds pathos in the story. The author creates an atmosphere of uneasiness as the conflict is introduced immediately, transporting readers into a world that is dark and filled with sinister happenings. The descriptions are vivid, and the author has the extraordinary gift of clearly depicting the characters' inner turmoil. The class distinctions come out clearly in the narrative. Astrid instantly wins the reader's admiration — determined, creative, and witty. Her arrival in the countess’s mansion sets off a shocking series of events. Samantha E. Talbot brings to life a historical tale that will captivate readers. The setting is skillfully rendered and the sense of mystery, coupled with the macabre, is brilliantly accomplished in this engrossing narrative. I loved the writing, the characters, and the detail the author gives to the setting. A Thunderbolt Into Nettle is a great read with strong, dark themes.