Thursday, June 7

Book Review: The Historian

Title: The Historian

Author: Elizabeth Kostova

Pages: 909

Summary: Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dust libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe - in a feat of storytelling so rich so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.

My Rating: 7.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book:  There were times when I was wrapped in the story, anxiously awaiting for Dracula to appear, but also felt the book was a little too long, for what it was and how it ended.

The author definitely set up a good gothic atmosphere in the quest to find out Dracula's history, and Dracula. The author was detailed in how she wrote the story, building up to the reveal and the mystery behind the Dracula lore and his personal history. I also loved being able to travel with the characters across Eastern Europe and being able to step inside the ancient libraries with them. I enjoyed the historical background of the book as well. I'm not sure how much of it is fact and fiction, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and felt it fit the book and it's themes well.

I did find that the book was drawn out, there seemed to be a lot of filler and repetitive themes and scenes (being followed, conversations with scholars, inner thoughts etc). While the detailed historical accounts (no matter how much liberties the author may or may not have taken) and descriptions of the ancient libraries were interesting, I still found that some things could have been left out, so the story could have taken.

Another thing I didn't like the jumping from view points, particularly the daughters story. I felt it disrupted the natural flow of the book and took away from the atmosphere and story as a whole. Especially considering there wasn't a lot of indication of when and where the story was at the time. But I didn't think her character added much to the book. I also found the ending to be a little anti-climatic and too picture perfect. I was expecting something very different, more to fit the gothic undertones of the book, more haunting.

Would I recommend it to read: I think I would. If you enjoy historical fiction or gothic mystery it's probably the book for you.

What to read next: Dracula

1 comment:

  1. I really want to read this one. I haven't gotten around to it. Great post.