Author(s): Elizabeth Kostova
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. In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright - a hunt for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the Dracula myth. Deciphering obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions, and evading terrifying adversaries, one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions - a captivating tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful - and utterly unforgettable.
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Shortlisted for British Book Awards: Newcomer of the Year 2006.
'A spirited update of Bram Stoker's classic, with a vastly ingenious plot in which Dracula has developed a mysterious penchant for librarians ... Kostova is a whiz at storytelling and narrative pace' Observer 'Told with a compelling intensity which will keep the reader hooked until the last Undead tomb door swings shut' Sunday Telegraph 'Filled with fascinating details of archaic vampire lore, the splendours of the Ottoman Empire and the beauty of Romania' TLS ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢TTThis literary thriller is a page-turner with brains' Daily Mail ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ThThe Historian amounts to something profound... and wondrously mathematical at times, a genre novel by Bach ... We encounter obsession, possession, and the struggle against the brevity of life. It is an exploration of the eternal desire for intimacy...Kostova captures, beautifully, the turn on a dime from light to dark' The Times ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢heThe Historian is great fun... told with a compelling intensity which will keep the reader hooked until the last Undead tomb door swings shut' Sunday Telegraph ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢gaA gasp-inducing, breathtakingly dark mystery set in the present but wrapped around the folklore and history of DraculaÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢tÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¦written in an exquisitely delicate and reserved style' Good Housekeeping ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢d Filled with fascinating details of archaic vampire lore, the splendours of the Ottoman Empire and the beauty of the Romanian countryside' TLS ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢a'Dracula's back - and alive and well (or at least undead) in Elizabeth Kostova's compelling novel' InStyle ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ntHotly anticipated... This exploration of Dracula from a historical perspective is more cerebral cortex than punctured jugulars and reads all the better for it' Eve ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢beA cross between Dracula and The Da Vinci Code' Observer ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ rKostova's research is exemplary... if you're drawn to the gothic in fiction, reading this on hot nights will induce a few shivers' Herald ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢KoElizabeth Kostova is an accomplished debutante who has produced an intriguing and carefully crafted novel". THE HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢myShe weaves myth, fact and adventure in this well-written, creepy time-slip novel that left me wanting to go back to Bram Stoker" NewBOOKS magazine ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ecIt's the impeccably researched and subtly chilling story of a young woman's search for the truth about her historian father, and his quest to find Vlad himself. It's so refreshing to read genuinely sinister and suspenseful literary horror which does not need to rely on shock tactics' Bookseller ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢rkTerrific reworking of the Dracula tale... It's gripping stuff and a lovely big read for summer' Bookseller ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢leCaptivating, cleverly written' New Books Magazine ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢meThe perfect summer read... Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel has the perfect mix of mystery and adventure and, based as it is around the legend of Dracula, a healthy dose of horror as well. If you take one book on holiday this year, make it the Historian' Waterstone's Books Quarterly The Historian is a marvelous book that draws the reader into an infectious vortex of mystery and discovery. It is beautifully written and full of real and believable characters, but what most impresses me is the way Elizabeth Kostova has taken an old and worn genre and made it entirely fresh and undeniably her own. This is great fiction. - David Liss
Elizabeth Kostova graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.