The Shadow Land

by Elizabeth Kostova

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Family Drama Historical fiction eBooks of the Month Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of The Shadow Land

One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | April 2017 Book of the Month.

This is a beautifully crafted novel. Those familiar with Kostova’s writing will be delighted to know that her beautiful, descriptive prose has yet again created a masterful novel that will hold you entranced throughout as you immerse yourself into this gripping tale. In the spring of 2008, Alexandra Boyd, weary from travel and haunted by years of grief, arrives in the city of Sophia in Bulgaria. A chance encounter leaves her with a piece of lost property that turns out to be an urn of human ashes; the remains of some poor soul, now separated from his family in the hands of a stranger. Distressed and exhausted Alexander embarks on a quest to return the ashes to their family. Alone in a unknown city she soon finds herself accepting help from a young taxi driver who soon becomes as strange and mysterious as the quest she has suddenly found herself on. This is a deeply compelling story that moves from a seemingly simple search to return some lost property to a more profound and moving look into Bulgarian history and the effects of grief. Simply spellbinding. ~ Shelley Fallows

Shelley Fallows

The Shadow Land Synopsis

Exactly at that moment she noticed the tall man’s satchel resting on the seat beside her. The sight of it went through her like a whisper of voltage–plain black canvas, the upper side closed with a black zipper. She touched it. No, it was not one of hers. It was similar to her smaller bag: but it was his, theirs, and they had disappeared into the city.

Alexandra Boyd has travelled to Bulgaria hoping to salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. But a luggage mix-up soon after she arrives finds her holding an urn filled with human ashes. Soon she will realise that this object is tied to the very darkest moments in the nation’s history, and that the stakes behind seeing it safely returned are higher than she could ever have imagined. This new novel from the author of The Historian and The Swan Thieves is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century. Suspenseful and beautifully written, The Shadow Land explores the power of stories and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781911231103
Publication date: 11th April 2017
Author: Elizabeth Kostova
Publisher: Text Publishing
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 504 pages
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:
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The Shadow Land Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Ann Peet - 'Gripping, enjoyable novel with a background of past and present Bulgaria...intelligent and thought-provoking.'
  • Sabine Little - 'This is not a fast read, but it is a satisfying one, and one that keeps you thinking about humanity’s many stories, long after you finish reading.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Intriguing story but I found the delivery slow and plodding as the lead character seeks to reunite a package with its rightful owner.'
  • Clare Topping - 'The author writes in a compelling way and her powers of creating a picture are excellent; at no point does it feel too wordy or as if any of the descriptions are overdone or superfluous.'
  • Catherine Bryce - 'A brilliant and exciting read taking the reader on a journey of adventure in Bulgaria.'
  • Sue Burton - 'Slow paced historical novel that left me wanting a bit more.'
  • Val Rowe -'Another extraordinary novel from the bestselling author Elizabeth Kostova exploring hope after adversity.'
  • Teresa O'Halloran - 'On the whole this book needs some severe pruning back and it could then be a much sharper, bouncier read.'
  • Ellie Crowson-Jeffery - 'This was an amazing story.'
  • Sarah Musk - 'A beautiful, intriguing book about the resilience of the human spirit and enduring love.  It is also a thrilling detective story.  A winning combination.'
  • Glenda Worth - 'The Shadow Land is a novel incorporating mystery and intrigue with Bulgarian history, a violinist, and a modern day girl trying to escape her past. A great read with many twists and turns.'
  • Kathryn Whitfield - 'A beautiful but heart-breaking story you won't forget.'
  • Lucy Bunce - 'An excellent book with clear plotlines in the present and the path.  Tells the history of the country with some likable characters.'
  • Kate - 'Elizabeth Kostava is a true artist in storytelling, this book is no exception to those writing skills. She hands over to us a weighty novel of love, humanity, kindness, adventure and guilt.'

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781911231172
Publication date: 22/02/2018
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781911231103
Publication date: 11/04/2017
Format: Hardback

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About Elizabeth Kostova

Elizabeth Kostova is the New York Times bestselling author of The Historian, which sold over three million copies, and The Swan Thieves. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress. Kostova won the 2006 Book Sense Award for Best Adult Fiction and the 2005 Quill Award for Debut Author of the Year for The Historian.Kostova’s fascination with Bulgaria began when, traveling to the country for research just after college, the Berlin Wall fell the week she arrived. She fell in love with the man who ...

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