The record-breaking phenomenon from Elizabeth Kostova is a celebrated masterpiece that "refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner" (San Francisco Chronicle).
Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family’s past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe—in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.
“Part thriller, part history, part romance...Kostova has a keen sense of storytelling and she has a marvelous tale to tell.” —Baltimore Sun
A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred review.THE HISTORIANElizabeth Kostova. Little, Brown, (656p) Considering the recent rush of door-stopping historical novels, first-timer Kostova is getting a big launch fortunately, a lot here lives up to the hype. In 1972, a 16-year-old American living in Amsterdam finds a mysterious book in her diplomat father's library. The book is ancient, blank except for a sinister woodcut of a dragon and the word "Drakulya," but it's the letters tucked inside, dated 1930 and addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," that really pique her curiosity. Her widowed father, Paul, reluctantly provides pieces of a chilling story; it seems this ominous little book has a way of forcing itself on its owners, with terrifying results. Paul's former adviser at Oxford, Professor Rossi, became obsessed with researching Dracula and was convinced that he remained alive. When Rossi disappeared, Paul continued his quest with the help of another scholar, Helen, who had her own reasons for seeking the truth. As Paul relates these stories to his daughter, she secretly begins her own research. Kostova builds suspense by revealing the threads of her story as the narrator discovers them: what she's told, what she reads in old letters and, of course, what she discovers directly when the legendary threat of Dracula looms. Along with all the fascinating historical information, there's also a mounting casualty count, and the big showdown amps up the drama by pulling at the heartstrings at the same time it revels in the gruesome. Exotic locales, tantalizing history, a family legacy and a love of the bloodthirsty: it's hard to imagine that readers won't be bitten, too.
Strangely a great read
Started off a bit slow, wasn’t sure was going to stay with it but very glad I did. The writing and the character development were outstanding. There were a few too many “coincidences” that drove the plot, but it was very satisfying, and the ending unexpeted but very fulfilling.
The writing was no doubt great work, especially with all the detailed descriptions of the scenes and characters. However, all those details was also why the book became a drag and took too long to end. The plot started off very interesting and intriguing, but the ending turn out to be a great disappointment. It seemed as if the author realized the story was dragging on too long and just came up with some stupid way to end it.
The only book I have read more than once! Brilliant!