‘La Sirin’, a tribute to Jane Austen with vampires

The writer Laura Blanco Villalba presents in her first novel a gothic story set in the English Regency

The writer Laura Blanco Villalba presents in her first novel a gothic story set in the English Regency

‘La Sirin’, by Laura Blanco Villalba, edited by Valhalla Ediciones, is now available in bookstores. It is a gothic vampire novel that takes place in the english countryside at the height of the Regency.

Hand in hand with characters drawn with precision and irony, the author introduces the reader to a provincial society that receives the arrival of a young aristocrat who is not what he seems. While the mothers of good families strive to marry their daughters to him, mysterious deaths begin to occur that alert the locals. The rumours, the suspicions and the clues are being dropped with a dropper until the final revelations.

The narrative develops in a double temporal thread that intertwines England in 1817 and Boston in 1968:

In ‘La Sirin’, Two 20th century vampires delve into the life of Mary Benedict to testify in the Blackbird case, a judicial process in which the evidence is “read” in the same blood and whose implications endanger the political balance of the Boston vampire lodge.

Readers will enjoy the metaliterary winks that dot the pages of this novel, in which the author pays homage to both the prose of Jane Austen and the origins of vampire literaturewith numerous references to the precursors of the genre: from Polidori to Stoker, passing through Lord Byron.

Costumbrista fantasy in Spanish
Blanco Villalba’s gothic novel is part of what specialized critics call “costumbrista fantasy”. A subgenre characterized by settings where social classes and observance of customs are a main element of the plot, as in this case with the gentlemen English that receives the arrival of the vampire.

Among the main exponents of this genre are authors of great international projection such as Susanna Clarke with works like ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell’ (where magic determines the development of the Napoleonic wars), Jo Walton with ‘Claws and fangs’ (starring dragons in a society similar to Victorian England) or Zen Cho with ‘The Sorcerer of the Crown’ (magic guilds and politics in the Regency). ‘La Sirin’ is one of the first publications in Spanish within the genre, dominated by Anglo-Saxon authors.

From self-published to signing by publisher
After seeing some of her micro-stories selected in anthologies and competitions throughout Spain, Laura Blanco Villalba published ‘Miríadas’ in 2020, a work that summarizes some of her best hyperbrief fiction texts. Likewise, she has also published ‘The longest song in the world’, a Christmas story for all ages that reached number 1 in Amazon’s ‘Children’s Books about Christmas’ category in 2020 and 2021.

Valhalla Ediciones is now publishing its first novel, ‘La Sirin’, in its Valkiria collection dedicated to fantasy, urban epic and paranormal.

‘La Sirin’, a gothic novel that combines vampires and Jane Austen, is already available available in bookstores.

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‘La Sirin’, a tribute to Jane Austen with vampires