(click to read full review)
Title: The Shadow Land
Author: Elizabeth Kostova
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
It's no lie that I love Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel, The Historian. I reread it every October when I want to be transported to libraries and towns in Budapest and Romania searching for historical documents pertaining to Vlad The Impaler, aka Dracula. Kostova's name jumped from the list when I was perusing upcoming titles and I waited on pins and needles for The Shadow Land to arrive for my review. In The Shadow Land, Kostova transports her readers to Bulgaria, a country I knew even less about than the countries showcased in The Historian.
As children, Alexandra Boyd and her brother would play games and daydream about their future travel using a world atlas. During one of their family hiking trips, her moody teenaged brother disappeared and never returned. Years later, Alexandra travels to one of their favorite countries on the map, Bulgaria, in hopes to find some closure over his death. Upon landing in Sofia, Bulgaria, Alexandra finds herself jet lagged in front of the wrong hotel. As she waits in the taxi line, she assists an elderly couple into their taxi and after they have left she realizes she accidentally has one of their bags. But not just any bag. A bag containing a wooden box engraved with the name Stoyan Lazarov, and inside the box are his ashes.
In a whirlwind attempt to return the box to the couple, Alexandra becomes part of an even larger mystery and political coverup spanning decades. I recommend The Shadow Land to anyone who loved The Historian. Kostova's writing will whisk you away to a foreign land and you'll be off and running with Alexandra to perform what began as a smallish task and escalates into journey to uncover the truth of one man's life and how his legacy will disrupt an entire political regime.
***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***