Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to 'My dear and unfortunate successor'. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of - a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden ...
Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to 'My dear and unfortunate successor'. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of - a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history. In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright - a hunt for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the Dracula myth. Deciphering obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions, and evading terrifying adversaries, one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions - a captivating tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful - and utterly unforgettable.
This was a great read. I would recommend it to any one.
I hope to read more from this writer.
Apr 8, 2011
This book is very well written. it is not for the casual reader however. One is expected to know something about relevant places as well and the history and myth surrounding Vlad Dracul.
The reader's imagination is excited as the story reveals itself.
Jan 5, 2011
A nighttime read
I like to read at night. This is the first book that I had to put down at one point and let it rest for weeks...it was too intense and scary. I can't wait for the movie version to come out.
Mar 9, 2010
Two important questions?
The Historian is an all time favorite. However, notable in many reviews is some expressed disappointment with the ending.
To understand the ending - and better appreciate the entire book - I think it is essential for every reader to understand two things - for whom ("the one reader") - and what purpose - motivated the storyteller to finally "commit to paper" this "cri de coeur".
Feb 8, 2010
I tell friends this book is The DaVinci Code for fans of the Dracula legend. The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons left me longing for a return trip to Europe to follow the trail myself. Similarly, The Historian kindled a desire to follow the roads travelled by the characters in their search for Dracula.
While the book's focus is on Dracula, it is not a horror tale, per se. However, as you read, there may be times when you are tempted to lock the windows and doors and add a string of garlic to your grocery list, just in case.
The characters, quite frankly, were less interesting than the travelogue but someone has to tell the story.
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