Book Review: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova


A Horror and Mystery Novel Rolled into One

This novel is mainly for those bookworms who are allured by the enticing richness of reading histories. What makes this book unique is it actually gives an account of how the Dracula evolved into how it is seen today. The historical fiction narrates the beginning of ruthless Vlad the Impaler, who impaled hundreds of people during his reign in Wallachia, and down to how Bram Stoker romanticized the image of the vampire for commercial appeal. On top of all these interesting little stories is one main plot of cat-and-mouse as Paul and Helen travel from Istanbul to Budapest as they try to solve the mystery of the old, vellum-bound book with a dragon carved at the cover’s center. Personally, I loved the interesting mix of history and adventure in the novel. There were moments when I would get all hyped because of the thinking that the letters and the riddles evoke. On the other hand, seeing the other side of the concept of the Dracula is a refreshing alternative from all the sensationalized appeal it got from Hollywood movies. The constant flight from one place to another while the protagonists deal with the elusive traces of Dracula is set against an atmosphere of eerie mystique, giving the plot just the right amount of ghostly spooks. The culmination and resolution of the plot at the end is one of suspense because apart from the truth, it is then that Paul and Helen finally discover what they have long been searching for. This book needs a lot of attention, so this is the perfect companion during a long flight or when you are stuck at home. But for those of you who want to see the other side of Dracula or to simply experience one hell of a ride, then The Historian beats all other lengthy reads!

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