Fairest Flesh by K.P. Kulski
In 16th century Hungary, there is a story about rage and powerlessness, of beauty and death. A story that not only belongs to the Countess Erszébet Báthory but to every woman. Hoping to leave behind a lonely and abusive childhood, the witch Dorottya sets out to find a new life outside of her solitary woods. Ugliest I’ve ever seen. Habsburg Emperors play puppet of the Hungarian nobles while the Ottoman Sultans encroach ever closer. War and cruelty are ways of life. Women borrow power with their youth and desirability, like nobility and riches, a waning commodity that only some are lucky to have. They'll see and hate you. Everyone will hate you. Unable to escape the memory of her dead mother, Dorottya discovers a new voice that promises her everything she’s ever wanted. Horrid to look upon. With the falling-sickness worsening, Lady Báthory becomes desperate for power over her own life, crashing headlong into rages and violent outlets. Pretty castle maids go missing leaving behind collections of blood-soaked linens. Make me perfect. As years pass, all of Sárvár town knows that the castle overlooking their homes is a place that swallows the lives of young women. Even the beautiful Anna knows that, but she has as secret and a deep need to find out the truth.