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 addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’.
Her discovery plunges 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 evil hidden in the depths of history.
The Historian is one of my all time favorite books. It mixes what I love best: a great story, vivid history, world travel, mystery, romance… and Vlad Dracul: the man, the myth, the literary demon.
Elizabeth Kostova’s debut novel follows the lives of three people: the narrator, her father, and her father’s professor. All three become – at different points in history, during different eras of their lives – completely engrossed in the Dracula “myth.”
History and geography come alive in these pages. It’s been almost ten years since I read it and there are still scenes that make my skin crawl, that make me smile.
I had been interested in Vlad Țepeș previously, but my interest was renewed as a result of this novel. It lead me to watch every documentary on The History Channel that covered “real” vampires, Wallachia, Transylvania, Romania, Medieval Eastern Europe, and Vlad the Impaler himself. I also read Vlad the Impaler: The Search for the Real Dracula after reading The Historian. The cover is pretty gruesome, but so were the 1400’s.
Anyway… if you like a good historical novel that plays around (only a little) with your emotions, dives deep into myth and legend and will make you believe you’ve actually traveled over time and countries with the historians, then this is the book for you!