appears to be Elizabeth Kostova’s first novel. There is very little
biographical detail in the book other than to tell us that she graduated
from Yale. But she has produced a very impressive story which according to
the cover has become an international bestseller. At the start, a young
woman is browsing through her father’s library and comes across an old book
and a bundle of letters. She reads the beginning of the first which says “My
dear and unfortunate successor, it is with regret that I imagine, whoever
you are, reading the account I must put down here.” And she becomes obsessed
with learning about the subject of the letters – Vlad the Impaler otherwise
known as Dracula.
willingly dragged into a mysterious quest which she discovers is her
birthright. And as it says on the back of the book, “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.”
This is an excellent, gripping, mystery horror story. Just why is Dracula so
concerned with historians and librarians? And what happened to her mother?
Her story is told interlaced with her father’s story through letters and
narrative. The mixture makes for a fast-paced, very readable novel.
She has pumped
fresh blood (sorry!) into a genre which has looked a bit tired for some
time. No longer. The end result is a book that is far more readable than
Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and a great deal more subtle than Anne Rice’s
Lestat series of Vampire chronicles. It is a seamless blend of fantasy and
history. And which definitely merits the description of International
bestseller. Hopefully it will not be too long before she submits another
offering for us. Just two questions spring to mind. Why is the introduction
to The Historian dated January 2008? And what happened to the books
at the end? Perhaps a sequel is possible / planned?