My rating: 2 of 5 stars
In 2005, this book was an international bestseller – so claimed. I read it with great interest in those three weeks and thought that the story was fabulously intriguing and wonderfully told then. I still do to some extend, to be honest. However, when some fellow readers in my book club discredited it as unworthy of its acclaim, I decided to read it again. And to my surprise I tend to agree with some of the ‘not-so-good’ reviews myself now.
Okay this is a fictional historical yarn. Let’s just look at it for that sake and give Elizabeth Kostova the credit where it’s due. After all she is an intelligent woman, an undergraduate of Yale and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree. To contrive this tale of Vlad Tepes, aka Drakulya (Dracula) from historical facts and presumptions, does take a certain IQ level indeed.
She did a very good job writing the story the way that she did. The thing she didn’t do very well is write it with the kind of style and guile required for the danger and mystery that her story deserved. Her narration failed to grip me like the way Bram Stoker did in his classic ‘Dracula’ so to speak.