Friday, July 25, 2008

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Book Cover for The Historian by Elizabeth KostovaLate 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.

I actually really liked this book, although Varen thought it dragged around the middle. It's quite detailed and having not actually read Bram Stoker's Dracula (that I can remember, although I think I've seen the film?), a lot was new to me (obviously not the basics like garlic and holy water!). The one thing that was marginally disappointing tho was that I think the discovery of "the mother" was supposed to be this huge twist, when in fact you see it coming for chapters. If you like Vampire-type stories and have an interest in history then this is probably a good read for you :)

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