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The Swan Thieves by Elisabeth Kostova
The 2005 debut novel by Kostova, The Historian, was a favorite of mine so I delved into The Swan Thieves almost the moment that I got it. There was the fear that it would disappoint, so many authors are one hit wonders, but Kostova nailed it. I loved it so much that I read it in about 24 hours. The darn book is over 500 pages long and I was glued to each and every page.

Do I really need to give you a summary? Seriously, every Tom, Dick & Nancy is doing that, go read Amazon if you want to know the plot.

In my webby wanderings I have heard of people that didn’t like The Historian or can’t get into The Swan Thieves. This perplexed me, so I kept it in mind while I was chewing & digesting. Why was it that I liked it both works so much and others just sort of went, blah?

Far be it from me to figure out what makes the public tick…I just thought that I would point out some differences that I noted from the four million other books that I have read in the last year.

Kostova’s work is flowery and descriptive. She creates imagery with most sentences and while I find this enchanting, it does mean that there are a lot of words. (The only other current author that comes to mind that does something similar is Anne Rice and her descriptions put me to sleep)

Her work is multi-layered and both books have been epics of sorts. There are always multiple story lines and those lines cover vast numbers of years.

Kostova’s work is not your run of the mill, churn this puppy out, author. Her work is meant to be savored and deserves to be savored.

In conclusion, I can see why some people don’t get her. We all look for different things in books at different times. I can’t stand Picasso, you may love him. That doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate the time, talent, and dedication that he put into his art.

Give The Swan Thieves a try…..I am sure the library has it and I would like to hear what you think about it. What is it that makes it a hit or a miss with you?

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