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By Elizabeth Kostova

To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history....Late one evening, exploring her father's library, a tender lady unearths an old ebook and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My expensive and unlucky successor," they usually plunge her right into a global she by no means dreamed of-a labyrinth the place the secrets and techniques of her father's earlier and her mother's mysterious destiny connect with an not possible evil hidden within the depths of history.The letters supply hyperlinks to at least one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known-and to a centuries-long quest to discover the resource of that darkness and wipe it out. it's a quest for the reality approximately Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign shaped the foundation of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, or even their lives to benefit the reality approximately Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one younger girl needs to come to a decision no matter if to absorb this quest herself-to stick with her father in a hunt that almost introduced him to break years in the past, while he was once a colourful younger student and her mom used to be nonetheless alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler need to do with the trendy international? Is it attainable that the Dracula of fantasy really existed-and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his personal unknowable ends? The solutions to those questions pass time and borders, as first the daddy after which the daughter look for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of japanese Europe. In urban after urban, in monasteries and data, in letters and in mystery conversations, the terrible fact emerges approximately Vlad the Impaler's darkish reign-and a few time-defying pact which may have stored his lousy paintings alive down throughout the ages.Parsing imprecise symptoms and hidden texts, examining codes labored into the material of medieval monastic traditions-and evading the unknown adversaries who will visit any lengths to hide and shield Vlad's historical powers-one lady comes ever towards the key of her personal previous and a disagreement with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an event of enormous proportions, a continuing story that blends truth and fable, background and the current, with an coverage that's virtually unbearably suspenseful-and totally unforgettable.

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And we might be—I’d be greatly drawn to seeing this archive you came across. ’ “‘Of course,’ he acknowledged. ‘With nice excitement. i'm going to exhibit you. My spouse may be astounded that any one desires to see. ’ He chuckled. ‘But, alack, the attractive construction within which it was housed has been torn right down to make method for an place of work of the Ministry of Roads—oh, 8 years in the past. It used to be a stunning little construction close to the Blue Mosque. this type of disgrace. ’ “I felt the blood draining from my face. in order that was once why we had had such hassle finding Rossi’s archive. ‘But the records —? ’ “‘Do now not fear, style sir. i personally ensured them to turn into a part of the nationwide Library. no matter if not anyone else adores them as I do, they have to be preserved. ’ whatever darkish crossed his face for the 1st time due to the fact he had scolded the Gypsy girl. ‘There continues to be evil to struggle in our urban, as there's all over. ’ He appeared from certainly one of us to the opposite. ‘If you're keen on outdated curiosities, i'll so much joyfully take you there day after today. it truly is closed this night, in fact. i do know good the librarian who can let you peruse the gathering. ’ “‘Thank you a great deal. ’ I didn’t dare examine Helen. ‘And how—how did you return to have an interest during this strange subject? ’ “‘Oh, it's a lengthy story,’ Turgut countered heavily. ‘I can't be allowed to bore you a lot. ’ “‘We’re now not bored at all,’ I insisted. “‘You are very style. ’ He sat silent for a few mins, sharpening his fork among thumb and forefinger. open air our brick alcove, honking autos dodged bicycles within the crowded streets and pedestrians got here and went like characters throughout a stage—women in flowing patterned skirts, scarves, and dangling gold jewelry, or black clothes and reddish hair, males in Western fits and ties and white shirts. The breath of a gentle, salty air reached us there at our desk, and that i imagined ships from all over the place Eurasia bringing their bounty to the center of an empire—first Christian, then Muslim—and docking at a urban whose partitions stretched down into the very sea. Vlad Dracula’s forested stronghold, with its barbaric rituals of violence, appeared some distance certainly from this historic, cosmopolitan global. No ask yourself he had hated the Turks, they usually him, i assumed. And but the Turks of Istanbul, with their crafts of gold and brass and silk, their bazaars and bookshops and myriad homes of worship, should have had even more in universal with the Christian Byzantines they'd conquered right here than did Vlad, defying them from his frontier. considered from this heart of tradition, he gave the look of a backwoods thug, a provincial ogre, a medieval redneck. I remembered the image I’d obvious of him in an encyclopedia at home—that woodcut of a sublime, mustached face framed by means of courtly gown. It was once a paradox. “I used to be misplaced during this picture whilst Turgut spoke back. ‘Tell me, my fellows, what makes you to have an interest during this subject of Dracula? ’ He had became the desk on us, with a gentlemanly—or suspicious? —smile. “I glanced at Helen. ‘Well, I’m learning the 15th century in Europe as history for my dissertation,’ I acknowledged, and was once instantly punished for my loss of candor via a feeling that this lie may already be real.

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