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As well as numerous settings, both in and out of the East Bloc, Kostova has three basic story lines to keep straight--one from 1930, when Professor Bartolomew Rossi begins his dangerous research into Dracula, one from 1950, when Professor Rossi's student Paul takes up the scent, and the main narrative from 1972. The criss-crossing story lines mirror the political advances, retreats, triumphs, and losses that shaped Dracula's beleaguered homeland--sometimes with the Byzantines on top, sometimes the Ottomans, sometimes the rag-tag local tribes, or the Orthodox church, and sometimes a fresh conqueror like the Soviet Union.
Although the book is appropriately suspenseful and a delight to read--even the minor characters are distinctive and vividly seen--its most powerful moments are those that describe real horrors. Our narrator recalls that after reading descriptions of Vlad burning young boys or impaling "a large family," she tried to forget the words: "For all his attention to my historical education, my father had neglected to tell me this: history's terrible moments were real. I understand now, decades later, that he could never have told me. Only history itself can convince you of such a truth." The reader, although given a satisfying ending, gets a strong enough dose of European history to temper the usual comforts of the closing words. --Regina Marler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I'm not really sure how I wound up reading two "vampire" stories in a row. I guess my only defense is that I had no idea that "The Historian" was a vampire novel. Read morePublished 2 hours ago by SephiPiderWitch
The only reason for the one star is that it finally ended! I have never been more bored by unnecessary detail and worthless information that contributed NOTHING whatsoever to... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Kristine Engstrom
My second time reading this book still brought plenty of suspense and plot twists to make it feel like a great first read.Published 3 days ago by Max J. Sokolnicki
Interesting historical fact woven in to a creatively written fictional story. Long but worth the time of reading this book.Published 11 days ago by fencer51
Beautifully written. Would like to re read but the story is very longPublished 12 days ago by kayrogers
It was a long book and I wasn't able to really get into it, especially as the voice changed frequently which made it hard to follow. But overall I did enjoy it.Published 21 days ago by SusanJHI
Having recently watched the movie Dracula Untold, it reminded me of this tome I read a decade ago--a different twist on Vlad the Impaler. Read morePublished 25 days ago by RomanceGal
I started reading with some hesitation but the more I read, the more I wanted to read. Everything ties in together beautifully. The ending sort of threw me. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Kindle Customer