In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

17 August, 2006

Book Review: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Read and reviewed for armchair interviews

"To my dear and unfortunate successor,"

When a young girl finds a yellowing packet of letters all beginning with the same phrase, and an eerily almost blank book, containing only a woodcut of a dragon and the name Drakuyla on its inner pages, in her father's study little does she suspect the strange story that will be revealed to her.

When she questions her father Paul, a widowed diplomat, a tale begins to slowly unfold. He tells her of how of how he found the book as a graduate student. How he became obsessed with the book, and upon showing it to his friend and advisor, professor Rossi found out that his was not the only book like it. Professor Rossi found a similar book when he was a graduate student. The professor gave Paul a packet of documents only to mysteriously disappear that night.

What follows is the story of how Paul and Helen Rossi (professor Rossi's daughter) travel from their American university across Europe looking for clues that might help them find the missing man. Elizabeth Kostova intertwines the story of Paul and Helen’s past with that of the girl as she discovers of the past through both her father telling her the tale, and then through letters he wrote to her before disappearing himself. The girl's own story turns into one of discovery and travel, as she tries to catch up with her missing father.

Many cultures have folk tales about vampires, and folk remedies to keep one safe from those creatures of the night. Elizabeth Kostova has taken her fascination with the vampire myths and Stoker's Dracula and woven a highly entertaining tale of her own, a tale which takes her readers through Europe following three generations of vampire hunters. While the size of this book may be intimidating to some readers, it contains a well-crafted story that is both engrossing and informative. Elizabeth Kostova has crafted a wonderfully written story filled with historical fact, mystery, suspense, and vampire lore from many countries. Fans of both historical fiction and vampire lore will find much to enjoy in this book.

ISBN10: 0316154547
Biding Format: Paperback
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Publication Date: October 3, 2006


BigVinny said...

I thought it was a bit slow moving. . .it just seemed to me that not much happened and it took a long time for not much to happen. . .


Lotus Reads said...

Hello, discovered your blog on Karen's blogroll and thought I'd pop in to say "Hello". I'm a bookcrosser, too- it's Lotusflower77. Will return to read more reviews.

nimrodiel said...


Glad you stumbled over here (I think I may have also read a bit of your blog either through Morsie's or antheras's blog at one point). I'm always glad to see more bookcrossers :)