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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.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book -- the history, the mystery, the characters and there relationships, and the totally new and original take on a venerable tale.Published 1 day ago by Dean W
I found this dreadfully dull. It explored the history of Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as Dracula, but being that it was fiction I didn't expect it to read like a history textbook. Read morePublished 3 days ago by M. Reynard
An adventure through history. Loved every minute. A true page Turner. I could not put it down and am left wanting more.Published 4 days ago by Kindle Customer
The incredible story-telling is beyond words. The fantastic journeys, the rich history... breathtaking! Anxious to read the Swan Thieves as well.Published 13 days ago by Faithin1
The concept drew me in, but the wriiting just did not work. Every character had the same voice, and it seemed as though the author simply did not know how to end it.Published 19 days ago by R. Bailey
As a lover of Bram Stoker's original I found this an excellent read with some genuinely chilling moments. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Ray Nye
I really enjoyed reading this book, it's one that you just can't put down. I told my Daughter about The Historian, and because I was so excited about it,she bought it and is loving... Read morePublished 27 days ago by mwaddell