- Literature & Criticism
Powers of Darkness is an incredible literary discovery: In 1900, Icelandic publisher and writer Valdimar Ásmundsson set out to translate Bram Stoker’s world famous 1897 novel Dracula. Called Makt Myrkranna (literally, “Powers of Darkness”), this Icelandic edition included an original preface written by Stoker himself. Makt Myrkranna was published in Iceland in 1901 but remained undiscovered outside of the country until 1986, when Dracula scholarship was astonished by the discovery of Stoker’s preface to the book. However, no one looked beyond the preface and deeper into Ásmundsson’s story.
In 2014, researcher Hans de Roos dove into the full text of Makt Myrkranna, only to discover that Ásmundsson hadn’t merely translated Dracula but had penned an entirely new version of the story, with all new characters and a totally reworked plot. The resulting narrative is one that is shorter, punchier, more erotic, and perhaps even more suspenseful than Stoker’s Dracula. Incredibly, Makt Myrkranna has never been translated or even read outside of Iceland until now.
Powers of Darkness presents the first ever translation into English of Stoker and Ásmundsson’s Makt Myrkranna. Powers of Darkness will amaze and entertain legions of fans of Gothic literature, horror, and vampire fiction.
‘An exceptional work.... Hans Corneel De Roos, quite possibly the foremost expert on Stoker’s creation, has provided copious annotation throughout, and the book is laden with illustrations and photographs [which] give exceptional insight... a beautiful volume and I can’t recommend it highly enough’ The Ginger Nuts of Horror
'Really something to celebrate… hugely entertaining… we enjoyed every moment of it. The design of the book is quite gorgeous as well' Starburst
'[It’s] difficult to overstate the significance of this remarkable literary discovery… presented here, in de Roos’s English translation, in a majestic hardback edition… [A] fascinating and erudite project' The Lady
‘An incredible discovery that serves as a return to form for the vampire story, giving the Count and his famous Transylvanian castle centre stage once more, and scaring us all senseless in the process' The National Post
'A fascinating artifact [that] does many major (and some trivial) things to Dracula... Powers of Darkness adds all sorts of oddities – including gorilla men, a possible Elisabeth Bathory character, Hammer-style Satanic rites under Castle Dracula and a political angle...' Kim Newman, horror author
'Very exciting… Asmundsson’s version has a much darker, stranger undertone to it all. It changes [Stoker's original] so much. There is much to be had from this Icelandic Dracula.' Sjon, Icelandic author
‘Our familiar, beloved count has a wintry doppelgänger, thanks to this strange, pleasing curiosity of a book.’ The Guardian
'A wonderful addition to the Dracula world... an invaluable extension to our knowledge about Bram Stoker’s Dracula.' TLS