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.
©2005 Elizabeth Kostova. All Rights Reserved.; (P)2005 Books on Tape
"A bloodthirsty delight....Both literary and scary, this one is guaranteed to keep one reading into the wee hours." (Booklist)
"Along with all the fascinating historical information, there's also a mounting casualty count, and the big showdown amps up the drama by pulling at the heartstrings at the same time it revels in the gruesome. Exotic locales, tantalizing history, a family legacy and a love of the bloodthirsty: it's hard to imagine that readers won't be bitten, too." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Historian is artfully constructed and atmospheric." (Washington Post Book World)
This was a great book! I listened to it with my 10-year old son and we both were glued to it. Very fast paced and easy to understand. Great characters and suspense.
I am a huge fan of vampire fiction. Dracula gave me nightmare's for years. I liked this book as it unfolded but the ending was by far the cheapest way to end any book in my opinion. I was angry at the shoddy wrap up and felt incredibly cheated. Shame on the author for doing that. It's like ending a tremendous war against the undead evil with a spray bottle full of holy water. I couldn't wait to delete this from my library.
This book is so long that I overlooked the download of part 4. I'm surprised that it has kept my interest, because it kind of drones on and on (and on), but then has some real excitement. But for the most part, it has been good listening. If you are looking for something lively, however, skip this. Be ready for endless descriptions of old cities and events.
I was really excited about this book but it turns out to be an immense amount of content for very little action. Props to Kostova on the intricate historical background, but this book is alot like Bram Stoker's Dracula in the fact that most of the book is spent talking about Dracula and he only ends up in 2 or 3 chapters out of 70-something. I also found the ending kinda weak.
Kostova has come up with a new way to write a vampire drama with beautiful, patient storytelling and a compelling drama. The history, culture and settings were done well. The narrators added to the story.
If you are into easy, breezy fiction with quick conclusions and easy development...this book isn't it and that isn't a bad thing. She is a very good writer.
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