Book Review—Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories by Patricia Furstenberg

‘Transylvania’s History A to Z’ by author Patricia Furstenberg is a collection of 26 stories that let us burrow into the history and legends about Transylvania. These stories presented alphabetically have 100 words each.

Just a little story that I wanted to share before I continue telling you about this book—I’ve always wanted to go to Romania. When I visited Europe in 2019, I had Romania, Hungary, and Croatia on my list, but because of time (been staying in Europe for a month then) and money running out, I thought I needed to regroup and visit next time. It was still a great trip, but since then, I’ve become more interested in knowing more about the region and promised myself that I’d see these places soon. 

Going back to this short 68-page eBook (104 in paperback), I thought it was an excellent introduction, particularly for people like me who wanted to see a glimpse of Romania. And it has pictures to go with each story which add to the enjoyment of reading it.

My favorite amongst the 26 stories are the following:

A Paleolithic Murder is the opening story and also a very compelling one. In a hundred words, there is already a complete story of murder, love, and betrayal! So good!

Vlad the Impaler  – Yep, the very same Dracula in pop culture. I loved that it’s not a boring-ass description about him, but the author just summarized who he is and what he did historically.

X, I Sign My Letter with a Cross relates to the tension about the interracial relations discouraged between the Hungarians, the Germans, and the local Romanians. The Catholic and the Orthodox worshippers were also forbidden to marry during that era.

I’ve also learned about the X we put in letters and how it came to mean kisses. So apparently, the custom of placing “X” on envelopes, notes, and at the bottom of letters to mean kisses dates back to the Middle ages when a Christian cross was drawn on documents or letters to convey sincerity, faith, and honesty. The signer then placed a kiss upon the cross as a display of their sworn oath. That was a fun tidbit!

Overall, these stories are all interesting, enjoyable, and very short too. I kept going back and forth to connect one to another. You can read it in one sitting, and this is an excellent read for anyone like me who loves history! 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Date of Publication: August 20, 2021

Read it for free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription:

About the Author
Patricia Furstenberg is the author of contemporary novel ‘Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting For’ and of the Amazon Bestseller ‘Joyful Trouble.’ She writes contemporary fiction, historical fiction, poetry, haiku and children stories. All of her books include… dogs. Patricia believes each creature has a story and a voice, if only we stop to listen.

With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about mind, brain and education and the psychology behind it. Using her knowledge she crafts stories and poems that are great fun, as well as teaching empathy.

Patricia came to writing though reading, her passion for books being something she inherited from her parents. “When I write, I write,” she usually says.

When she’s not writing she likes to read, listen to music, dance and bake.
This Romanian born writer is living happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.
Patricia Furstenberg Author Page and Blog:

2 responses to “Book Review—Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories by Patricia Furstenberg

  1. Hi Paddy,

    Thank you so much for choosing my book and for this fantastic review.
    I love that you included a traveling background that will help potential readers connect with the book.

    I am glad these three stories resonated with you. Some tales in this book emerged from a historical artifact (like A Paleolithic Murder), while others just demanded to be included (like the one about Vlad the Impaler). Meanwhile, for other segments of Transylvania’s history I felt that I owe it to its people to focus on them (like in X, I Sign My Letter with a Cross).

    I will treasure this review.
    Thank you for your time and energy, they are highly appreciated.
    I wish you to finish your European tour – and soon 🙂

    Best wishes,
    Patricia Furstenberg

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