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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.
Interesting historical fact woven in to a creatively written fictional story. Long but worth the time of reading this book.Published 1 day ago by fencer51
Beautifully written. Would like to re read but the story is very longPublished 1 day 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 10 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 14 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 18 days ago by Kindle Customer
Beautifully written, but ultimately a disappointing new take on Dracula.Published 22 days ago by Marc Thomson
If you are going to have your book close to 700 pages you should really have a decent payoff for putting that much time into it. Read morePublished 26 days ago by James Brundirks
A thorough and well-composed work. This novel beautifully captures the magic of folklore and historical fact; combined to create the everlasting legend of one of the most infamous... Read morePublished 28 days ago by brookenmurphy