by: Elizabeth Kostova
Published by: Little, Brown and Company
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Reviewed by Jenny Salyers
"To my dear and unfortunate successor..."
When a young girl finds a yellowing packet of letters in her father's
study, all beginning with the same phrase, and an eerily almost blank
book that contains only a woodcut of a dragon and the name Drakuyla
on its inner pages, little does she suspect the strange story that will be revealed to her.
When she questions her father Paul, a widowed diplomat, a tale begins
to slowly unfold. He tells her of how he found the book as a graduate
student. He became obsessed with the book, and upon showing it to
his friend and advisor, Professor Rossi, Paul found out that his was not the only book like it. Professor Rossi found a similar book when he was a graduate student. The professor gave Paul a packet of documents--only to mysteriously disappear that night.
What follows is the story of how Paul and Helen Rossi (professor
Rossi's daughter) travel from their American university across Europe,
looking for clues that might help them find the missing man. Elizabeth
Kostova intertwines the story of Paul and Helen's past with that of the girl as she discovers the past through both her father 's telling, and then through letters he wrote to her before he disappeared. The girl's own story turns into one of discovery and travel, as she tries to catch up with her missing father.
Many cultures have folk tales about vampires, and folk remedies to
keep one safe from those creatures of the night. Elizabeth Kostova has
taken her fascination with the vampire myths and Stoker's Dracula and woven a highly entertaining tale of her own, a tale which takes her readers through Europe following three generations of vampire hunters.
While the size of this book may be intimidating to some readers, it
contains a well-crafted story that is both engrossing and informative.
Elizabeth Kostova has crafted a wonderfully written story filled with
historical fact, mystery, suspense, and vampire lore from many
Armchair Interviews says: Fans of both historical fiction and vampire
lore will find much to enjoy in this book.
From our armchair to yours...