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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 really enjoyed this book. I hard a hard time putting it down. I love the mix of history and legends.Published 2 days ago by Angela
I LOVED this book! It was so, dramatic and chilling and gave a fresh new take on the whole Dracula story. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Brenda
Phenomenal book and enjoyed the adventure. Just dragged on too long for my liking?Published 19 days ago by Joshua Wade
The description of some modern European cities, notably, Amsterdam, Venice, Budapest, and Istanbul as well as the countryside in the south of France and northern Spain and... Read morePublished 19 days ago by K. Knox
It's very good but becomes somewhat tedious about three quarters of the way through the story. Did not care for the ending.Published 24 days ago by martin
I was never interested in Stoker's Dracula until I read this. I wasn't interested in a lot of things until I read this. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Blair K. Hartman