Jennifer's Reviews > The Historian

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
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The Historian is a standalone historical fiction novel written by Elizabeth Kostova. Yes, it has vampires in it and no, it's not classified as paranormal. Why? Because of Ms. Kostova's attention to historical accuracy, specifically regarding the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler rather than the mythical (and paranormal) Dracula the Vampire. In an online interview, Ms. Kostova stated, “I took a real historical mystery, the question of where Vlad the Impaler is buried–or what became of his remains–and spun out a fictional speculation from there. The other historical events in the book are real ones, carefully researched, although the twentieth-century characters are fictional.”

Personally, I loved how layered this book is. Multiple stories build upon each other in many exotic locations bridging across several centuries. It's a very rich reading experience full of culture, history, adventure, and mystery. This was a beast to read in terms of length, but I was never bored and I remained eager to pick up wherever I left off. If you enjoy historical thrillers, specifically those written in a similar style to Dan Brown, you'll love The Historian. Check it out!

My favorite quote:
“For all his attention to my historical education, my father had neglected to tell me this: history’s terrible moments were real. I understand now, decades later, that he could never have told me. Only history itself can convince you of such a truth. And once you’ve seen that truth—really seen it—you can’t look away.”

A bit of trivia: It took Elizabeth Kostova ten years to write The Historian. This was the first debut novel to ever debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Ms. Kostova was initially inspired by her own childhood memories of her father, who was a professor, telling her stories about Dracula.
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Quotes Jennifer Liked

Elizabeth Kostova
“I've always been interested in foreign relations. It's my belief that study of history should be our preparation for understanding the present rather than an escape from it.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian

Elizabeth Kostova
“As you know, human history is full of evil deeds, and maybe we ought to think of them with tears, not fascination.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian


Reading Progress

November 6, 2016 – Started Reading
November 6, 2016 – Shelved
November 8, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
November 8, 2016 – Shelved as: listened-to-audiobook
November 8, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
November 8, 2016 – Shelved as: stand-alone-novel
November 8, 2016 – Shelved as: vampires
November 8, 2016 – Finished Reading
November 9, 2016 – Shelved as: authors-first-novel-debut

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Arah-Lynda (last edited Nov 09, 2016 08:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Arah-Lynda I loved how layered this book was as well Jennifer. You also added some previously unknown to me tidbits about Kostova. Awesome!


message 2: by Myrna (new)

Myrna Great review. Might have to pick it up.


Rosa Great book. Presently doing a reread.


Jennifer Arah-Lynda wrote: "I loved how layered this book was as well Jennifer. You also added some previously unknown to me tidbits about Kostova. Awesome!"

Glad you liked this one as well!!


Jennifer Myrna wrote: "Great review. Might have to pick it up."

Thank you Myrna! Hope you enjoy it!!


Jennifer Rosa wrote: "Great book. Presently doing a reread."

Enjoy your reread Rosa!!


message 7: by Christine (new)

Christine Is this similar to D. Harkness who wrote The discovery of witches. I've been wanting another like that.


message 8: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Great review, Jennifer!


Jennifer Christine wrote: "Is this similar to D. Harkness who wrote The discovery of witches. I've been wanting another like that."

Unfortunately I can't answer that Christine. I haven't read Deborah Harkness before.


Jennifer Deanna wrote: "Great review, Jennifer!"

Thank you Deanna!


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