Plenty of previous reviewers have summed up the gist of this novel: a young woman — a teenager, actually — goes in search of her missing father, and along the way discovers a horrifying family connection to Vlad Tepes and Dracula. Okay, that’s an over-simplification but, really, others have done better with the plot synopsis, so I’ll leave that bit to them and tell you this, instead:
I stand here in awe of the way Elizabeth Kostova structured her story: Layer upon layer of epistolary documents, each describing another, older, deeper layer, and filled with rich historical detail like decadent buttercream at the center of a sponge cake, until at last we reach the heart of the mystery, buried deep in the 15th century and hidden in the remote reaches of eastern Europe.
I acquired The Historian in 2007, and it sat on my bookshelves for six years before I finally read it. Kostova’s second novel, The Swan Thieves, has been sitting on the shelf since 2010. I don’t think I’ll wait nearly as long to read it.
This book was read as part of R.I.P VIII, Peril the First Challenge. Click that badge up there that says “Review Site” to see other participants and their reviews.