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From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes an engrossing novel that spans the past and the present - and unearths the dark secrets of Bulgaria, a beautiful and haunted country.
A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi - and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes.
As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppression - and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger.
Kostova's new novel is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century and traverses the culture and landscape of this mysterious country. Suspenseful and beautifully written, it explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss.
Praise for Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian
"Quite extraordinary . . . Kostova is a natural storyteller. . . . She has refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner." - San Francisco Chronicle
"Hypnotic . . . a thrill ride through history." - The Denver Post
"Part thriller, part history, part romance . . . Kostova has a keen sense of storytelling and she has a marvelous story to tell." - Baltimore Sun
"Kostova's vampire is no campy Lugosi knockoff. . . . Blending history and myth, Kostova has fashioned a version so fresh that when a stake is finally driven through a heart, it inspires the tragic shock of something happening for the very first time." - Newsweek
Praise for The Swan Thieves
"Exquisite." - The Boston Globe
"Engrossing." - O: The Oprah Magazine
"Stunning . . . A beautifully written tale of art, love and an obsession triggered by both." - Associated Press