By Elizabeth Kostova
Reviewed by Efadul Huq
Late one night, exploring her father's library, Rosy discovers an ancient book with a dragon seal and a cache of yellowing letters. The first letter says:
“My dear and unfortunate successor,
It is with regret that I imagine you, whoever you are, reading the account I must put down here. The regret is partly for myself because I will surely be at least in trouble, maybe dead, or perhaps worse, if this is in your hands. But my regret is also for you, my yet unknown friend, because only by someone who needs such vile information, will this letter someday be read.”
With that she dives into a world of nightmares 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.
These letters will provide a portal to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known, and to an age-old quest to find the lord of that darkness and wipe him out. It is an arduous journey to the tomb of Dracula who reigns over the dark realm beyond death. It is now upon Rosy to decide whether she'll risk her sanity, following the trail of this overwhelming terror!
Who was the actual Dracula? How does he relate to the modern times? Did the Dracula of myths truly exist?
The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty libraries in London, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Budapest and the heart of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letter and in hush-hush conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Dracula.
The evil at the core of The Historian is Vlad (a.k.a. Dracula) himself and his undead minions, who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets, mainly the tomb of Vlad Tepes.
Recognizing obscure signs and hidden texts and decoding codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions, Rosy comes ever closer to the very definition of evil. What happens next is for you to find out!
The Historian is not a usual thriller. Nor is it a gripping, blood-dripping horror novel. It won't raise goose bumps and has no accelerating cliffhanger action. It reads more like a travelogue; a paean history and love story with the horror of unspeakable evil and the race to save loved ones gluing it all together. The less-than-normal font makes it a little effort-deserving, but the descriptions and the storytelling are awesome. Although it's Elizabeth Kostova's first novel, the quality of her prose is appreciable.
Read The Historian for the love of history, travel and mystery with Dracula lurking in the shadows to jump out at you!
The book is available at Bookworm.
(R) thedailystar.net 2007