Saturday, 26 October 2013

Halloween Reads: Review for The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Book: The Historian

Author: Elizabeth Kostova

Pages: 752

Plot Summary: To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…

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.

General Thoughts: I read The Historian in 2004-2005 or thereabouts, so I don't remember the exact details, but I do remember LOVING this book! The Historian is a mix of gothic, detective, adventure, travelogue and thriller genres and for me that was one of the reasons for loving it as much as I did. The other reason being the way the book moved effortlessly through time- events occur in the 1930s, 1950s and the 1970s and we also get to learn about Vlad Tepes, a 15th century prince of Wallachia, who was known as Vlad The Impaler and was, apparently, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's book Dracula. 

The book starts in 1972, in Amsterdam when the unnamed female protagonist finds a mysterious dragon-embossed book in her father's study and learns about the legend of Dracula and her and her father's mentor's efforts in finding him. Intrigued, she picks up from where her father left off and as the story moves from Istanbul to Hungary to Romania, she learns of her mother's mysterious disappearance as well. 

I loved the dark and thrilling tone of this book. To me, it presented a rather purist interpretation of vampires rather than the pop sugar version in books like Twilight and such. The book is well researched and well written and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a spooky Halloween vampire themed read. 

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