The Historian

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
Fiction, Gothic, History, Travel, Mystery, Folklore

Church with blackened outer walls from a fire set in the mountains, in a setting from The Historian
The Black Church in Brasov, Transylvania, Romania

The Historian is a gothic tale set in 1970’s Europe. It is a story narrated by the daughter of a historian as she searches for her vanished parents. She journeys around central and eastern Europe, following a path started by historians centuries before, looking for the truth about Vlad Tepes: Dracula. She starts with a mysterious ancient tome and a sheaf of yellowed notes. Adding in both her young sense of bravery, and the stories her father told her, she ventures out into the unknown on her mission.

Ancient Candelabras, would be a fit in the Historian book
Candelabras at Peles Castle, Romania

“As a historian, I have learned that, in fact, not everyone who reaches back into history can survive it. And it is not only reaching back that endangers us; sometimes history itself reaches inexorably forward for us with its shadowy claws.”

If you like European History, mixed with some folklore, this is a truly amazing read. It is an atmospheric tale that draws you in, and gets in your head, in a wonderfully creepy kind of way. This is a vampire story, but not a traditional vampire story. It includes not only well-researched history but also appealing characters. It is mysterious and delightful from start to end.

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