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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.
Very well written, and a great story.
Also, while some of the information was interesting, parts of the novel went on too long and didn't seem to contribute much to the general plot.
I couldn't put this book down for the first 150 pages, but then as the story wore on I found myself having a hard time wanting to read on.
Loved the historical aspect of this vampire tale. The author really put a lot of thought and detail into this novel.Published 18 hours ago by Rebecca Kenny
First, Ms. Kostova builds suspense as few can do it. Secondly, if you have lived in any of the places she describes, you know she is imbued with their charms and offers them on a... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Susan G. Beck
There were many things I liked about this book. The narrative was interesting and I enjoyed the many perspectives. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Rebecca E.
I wanted to give this five stars, but had to drop one. For such a long, long book, and all the details involved, I felt actually a bit short-changed at the ending. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Rick Henry
This book was great to read as if kept you reading to find out what was going to happen next.Published 18 days ago by Merle Weyant
Beautifully written and engaging. Not a lover of horror stories, I didn't realize until I was completely hooked that this is a novel about Dracula. Read morePublished 19 days ago by lockwynn