Book Review: The Historian

Title: The Historian01historian
Author: Elizabeth Kostova
Published: 2005
Pages: 642
Synopsis: Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to “My dear and unfortunate successor”. 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.
Rating: 4.5 stars/5

Vicky’s Review

Do you believe in vampires? The undead? There certainly have been a multitude of books written about them. I loved Bram Stoker’s Dracula but I honestly haven’t read many other books about vampires. That said, I did just finish a novel over 600 pages in length on the legend of Dracula. It is entitled The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

Though lengthy, The Historian is an excellent story that involves actual events, history, geography, life behind the Iron Curtain, and the cruel barbarian, Vlad Tepes III, known better as Vlad The Impaler.

A young woman who is never named in the book finds a letter from her father telling her he’s gone on a search and asking her not to follow. Professor Paul (we never learn his last name) has taken his daughter on his many travels, telling her about Dracula – Vlad III’s name.

Professor Paul and his mentor, Professor Bartolomeo Rossi, were obsessed with finding Dracula and ending his reign. Professor Rossi disappeared some years ago under mysterious circumstances. Now the unnamed woman’s father is missing too, and after she finds a bunch of mysterious, yellowed letters, she sets off on a journey to find him.

You must read this fascinating book yourself to learn what happens. Is Dracula real? What happened to Professor Rossi? What is the meaning of the old book that has only one word in it? Who is Helen and where does she fit in? Can the young woman find her father, and will he be (un)dead or alive?

About the Reviewer


Hello, I’m Vicky. I’ve been a bibliophile since I first read Raggedy Ann and the Nancy Drew mysteries as a child. Though I have graduated to reading “grown up” books, I do occasionally still enjoy a walk down memory lane with The Hardy Boys and The Boxcar Children.

My idea of the perfect day is relaxing in my “Lazy Girl” chair, listening to rain pouring down outside, nose buried in a book, with a chocolate bar pressed to my lips.

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