This novel was a labour. It was enormous. But, it was an interesting read. At times I set it down, and at times I skimmed long passages, but the ending was very worthwhile. I think it could have been condensed and still have been very good. I also liked the subject. It was an interesting take on the Dracula story - and more importantly, it wasn't a campy teenage drama! I will still recommend Kostova's 'The Swan Thieves' as a better story. It was written after this novel, and I can see how Kostova is maturing, and yet she is moving from strength to strength.