Tuesday, November 9, 2010


THE HISTORIAN is the first book by Elizabeth Kostova. The Swan Thieves is her second published, and I read it before reading this one.

Kostova's writing may be better in the second book -- she's one of the descriptive, literary types who tend to convoluted sentences with lots of words -- but the first was more interesting. It's told from the viewpoint of a young girl whose father tells her tales about Dracula. Unfortunately, there are also notes from her father's viewpoint, about his courtship of her mother, and what happened to her mother's father who was also her father's mentor. Too much is going on when all get caught up in the search for Dracula's burial site. Seems like old Vlad didn't just stay in Transylvania but traveled around. Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey...

The Historian was a long, slow read, and it was about Dracula (Oh, no, not another book about vampires!) so for me, it had two strikes against it from the start. People who love Dracula may enjoy the book for it does give a different slant on him. People who like to read about medieval history may enjoy it, for there is a great deal of history in it. You can tell Kostova's done her research. But people who like crisp plots without excess padding probably will find it boring.

Not one of my favorites, but I did finish it. Finally.

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