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The Historian

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The Historian Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history....Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history. The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known — and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula.

Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself — to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed — and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends?

The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign — and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages. Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions — and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad's ancient powers — one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil.

Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful — and utterly unforgettable.

Review:

"Quite extraordinary....Kostova is a natural storyteller....She has refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Part thriller, part history, part romance....Kostova has a keen sense of storytelling and she has a marvelous tale to tell." Baltimore Sun

Review:

"Hypnotic....A thrill ride through history." Denver Post

Review:

"Impossible to resist." Miami Herald

Review:

"Kostova's vampire is no campy Lugosi knockoff....Blending history and myth, Kostova has fashioned a version so fresh that when a stake is finally driven through a heart, it inspires the tragic shock of something happening for the very first time." Newsweek

Synopsis:

When a teenage girl discovers a medieval book in her diplomat father's library, he reluctantly confesses an unsettling story: his involvement, 20 years earlier, in a search for his mentor, who disappeared from his office only moments after confiding his certainty that Dracula — Vlad the Impaler — was still alive.

About the Author

Elizabeth Kostova graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress. Her second novel, The Swan Thieves, will be published in October 2009.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

megwillis, November 11, 2011 (view all comments by megwillis)
The first 200 pages of this book were promising, the first 350 still slightly intriguing and beyond that it just felt like a journey I had to finish, out of pride. The plot is well developed and it is an interesting premise. The problem is that I ultimately did not care what happened to any of the characters. . . they were all flat-- attempts at romantic developments were super cheesy and awkwardly placed.

I would not recommend using your reading time to read this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
megwillis, November 11, 2011 (view all comments by megwillis)
The first 200 pages of this book were promising, the first 350 still slightly intriguing and beyond that it just felt like a journey I had to finish, out of pride. The plot is well developed and it is an interesting premise. The problem is that I ultimately did not care what happened to any of the characters. . . they were all flat-- attempts at romantic developments were super cheesy and awkwardly placed.

I would not recommend using your reading time to read this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
DeeLamb, January 17, 2010 (view all comments by DeeLamb)
This is the best book I read last year, and possibly the best of the decade. A friend loaned me his copy. I've since had to buy my own so that I could pass it on to my sister and friends. I've tried to wait patiently for the second novel from Kostova with the hope it will stand up to The Historian.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316070638
Author:
Kostova, Elizabeth
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
Fantasy - Dark/Horror
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Men's Adventure
Subject:
Horror - General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
676
Dimensions:
8.10x5.40x1.30 in. 1.27 lbs.

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The Historian New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.99 In Stock
Product details 676 pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316070638 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Quite extraordinary....Kostova is a natural storyteller....She has refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner."
"Review" by , "Part thriller, part history, part romance....Kostova has a keen sense of storytelling and she has a marvelous tale to tell."
"Review" by , "Hypnotic....A thrill ride through history."
"Review" by , "Impossible to resist."
"Review" by , "Kostova's vampire is no campy Lugosi knockoff....Blending history and myth, Kostova has fashioned a version so fresh that when a stake is finally driven through a heart, it inspires the tragic shock of something happening for the very first time."
"Synopsis" by , When a teenage girl discovers a medieval book in her diplomat father's library, he reluctantly confesses an unsettling story: his involvement, 20 years earlier, in a search for his mentor, who disappeared from his office only moments after confiding his certainty that Dracula — Vlad the Impaler — was still alive.
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