Monday, April 17, 2006

Book Review: The Historian



The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, ripped through Leah's family like wildfire (except with fewer burn marks), so I really had no choice but to read it as soon as Leah finished. I'm glad I did.

The Historian revolves around the story of the real Dracula, Vlad Drakula of Wallachia (aka Vlad the Impaler). Vlad the Impaler, a real historical figure, was one of the most bloodthirsty men in the history of, um...history and was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. During his wars with the Ottoman Empire, Vlad the Impaler would impale is enemies on stakes, sometimes through parts of the body that we won't mention here on this site. Men, women, children...it didn't matter. He is truly one of the most awful figures in history. And a great premise for a book.

The Historian mainly takes place in two times. There is the time during the narrator's adolescence when the narrator is discovering letters from her father, detailing her father's past. The story then shifts to the past, and spends the majority of the book there, and is a recounting of her father's story. It is, as the title suggests, a young historian unwrapping the past and letting it unfold before the reader. The transition between the past and the "present" is extremely well done and keeps the reader thoroughly engrossed.

It's a long book, but a hard one to put down. The story is so intriguing that one has to know what happens next and the characters are very engaging, putting the reader firmly on their side. I can't really recommend this book highly enough and I can't wait to see what the her next book will be (this one took eight years to write, so I may be waiting awhile).

2 comments:

Nicole said...

Sounds like a great book - I'm defintely going to pick it up as I need something to read.

LeahC said...

I can attest to it being a great book. I read it in about a week. There is a lot of jumping in time at times, but it's not too hard to follow.