The primary characters were vividly real, each having personal goals, yet demonstrating when attaining their own desires may hurt another. Even Robert Oliver, in some ways the epitome of a narcissistic artist knows how his behavior negatively works on his family, although he ultimately is powerless to put his own wants aside. Elizabeth Kostova's writing is more tightly honed than in her first novel, which was wonderful written. In The Swan Thieves the first person accounts are each written so individually I soon was able to know who was telling the story without checking the chapter header.
I enjoyed The Swan Thievesso much that I ran out and got The Historian, which I had been reluctant to read for some time, not really having any interest in what I had perceived might be just another vampire story. As I said in my review, I couldn't have been more wrong, and I loved the adventure and history of The Historian as much as I enjoyed the passion and artistry of The Swan Thieves. This brief video of Elizabeth Kostova discussing The Swan Thieves explains her motivation and ideas behind the book.
Official FTC Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review, other than the uncorrected Advance Reader Copy from Hachette Publishing Group.