The Historian is a story within a story, mostly told through letters. I didn't mind the lengthy transitions that followed different main characters, the timing of new bits of information kept me turning the pages. The novel takes the history of Vlad Tepes and blends it with the legend of Dracula and carries his presence into the modern world. Kostova made this believable, not an easy task. As the reader learns more about the real Dracula, the story becomes even creepier.
While reading the book, I was looking up additional information on the leader of Wallachia; Tepes was incredibly cruel and such evil does feel supernatural. Eastern Europe and its history adds to the tone and believability. It wasn't really a horror story but felt like a good old-fashioned gothic tale.
I did get a little lost in the battles that involved the followers of Dracula, but it didn't affect how much I enjoyed the story. I also was not crazy about Helen, the narrator's mother. Some of her choices were incredibly frustrating!
I thought the ending was exactly what I needed/wanted after my time reading this lengthy book. For those who like long novels, a bit of creepiness, and a detective story-like plot.