The Historian

The Historian

3.79 (257,158 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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In this internationally bestselling novel, the author of The Swan Thieves has 'refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling...late-night page-turner' - San Francisco Chronicle

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.

'Quite extraordinary....Kostova is a natural storyteller....She has refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner' - San Francisco Chronicle

'Filled with fascinating details of archaic vampire lore, the splendours of the Ottoman Empire and the beauty of the Romanian countryside' - Times Literary Supplement
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Product details

  • Paperback | 752 pages
  • 200 x 129 x 35mm | 495g
  • Sphere
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Repr.
  • 0
  • 9780751537284
  • 20,699

Review Text

This literary thriller is a page-turner with brains DAILY MAIL
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Review quote

This literary thriller is a page-turner with brains * DAILY MAIL * THE 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. * THE TIMES * The 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 * A gasp-inducing, breathtakingly dark mystery set in the present but wrapped around the folklore and history of Dracula...written in an exquisitely delicate and reserved style' * GOOD HOUSEKEEPING * Filled with fascinating details of archaic vampire lore, the splendours of the Ottoman Empire and the beauty of the Romanian countryside * TLS *
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About Elizabeth Kostova

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.
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Rating details

257,158 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 31% (80,896)
4 33% (84,920)
3 23% (57,969)
2 9% (22,622)
1 4% (10,751)

Our customer reviews

The mix of history, fiction and vampires is really inspiring. I couldn't stop reading. There are also three timelines, which I find most interesting and it is in no way confusing. You ought to read the book in order to feel the dynamic of the more
by Antoniya Momchilova
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