I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about The Historian, given that it’s about Dracula, which isn’t usually my cup of tea. But a friend recommended it, and it got a lot of critical acclaim, so I tried it and really enjoyed it. Instead of a pulpy, Hollywoody vampire story, it’s more about travel and history and Eastern Europe, with a historical Dracula (he was a real person, although obviously his undead properties are less than historical) story frame.
I found the book very well written, with an exceptional grasp on multiple storylines and timelines. The pacing is excellent. Given the macabre possibilities, I thought Kostova did a great job of not going into lots of gruesome detail. As I mentioned above, the book gives a feel of being more about the history and settings of Eastern Europe. Kostova is marvelous at settings–I found myself really wanting to visit Istanbul and Budapest and the fairytale-like countrysides and mountains she describes.
The Historian is a long book in the best way–a full story that you don’t want to put down but that you relish for being long enough to hang out with for a while.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.