The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian is one of the books published in 2005, and it was very popular in those years. Last year, when I saw it in a charity shop, I couldn’t resist buying it; I thought it might be a good story to get away from reality and get distracted. The Historian was a novel that I got bored with at times, I couldn’t put it down with excitement at times, and finally, I thought it was too long. As with any book read at the wrong time, I was a little disappointed, but I couldn’t be angry because it reminded me of the joy of reading Istanbul in novels.


The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian is a novel in which Dracula is still alive and follows and hunts down a number of people from all over the world to get them to work in a job he values. In addition to being a novel that subtly feeds the myths of Voivode the Impaler and Dracula, it is also a book containing big and small love stories, lots of drama and academia. It cannot be said that it has much satisfaction in terms of literature, but that’s why one wouldn’t read such a book anyway.

The Historian is a book that I neither want to dwell on nor write much about. If you are interested in its subject, I say take a look, but don’t expect too much. Enjoy!

The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian

The Historian: To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history….Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge 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 inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula.

Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself–to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends?

The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler’s dark reign and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.

Elizabeth Kostova

Elizabeth Kostova was born in Connecticut in 1964. She is the author of three novels, The Historian (Little, Brown, 2005), The Swan Thieves (Little, Brown, 2010), and The Shadow Land (Random House, 2017). The Historian was the first debut novel in U.S. publishing history to debut at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List, has been translated into 40 languages, and won Quill and Independent Bookseller Awards. The Swan Thieves was also a New York Times Bestseller and has been translated into 28 languages. Her short fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in such periodicals and anthologies as The Mississippi ReviewPoets & Writers Magazine, The Best American Poetry, The Michigan Quarterly, and Another Chicago Magazine.

Kostova has taught in programs at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the University of Michigan, Drexel University, the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and Penn State– as well as at the Sozopol Seminars on the Bulgarian Black Sea and Bear River Writers’ Conference in northern Michigan. She reads and lectures internationally and is co-founder of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, which provides competitive opportunities for Bulgarian writers and translators, as well as opportunities for native-English writers to travel to Bulgaria.

She also serves on the University Council of the American University of Bulgaria in Blagoevgrad and on the Council of the University of North Carolina Press. She has received awards for service from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture and the town of Sozopol. Kostova holds a B.A. in British Studies from Yale College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood Awards in both fiction and non-fiction.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Reading Challenge 2022

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