Review "A Discovery of Witches"
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.
In a sparkling debut, "A Discovery of Witches" became the "it" book of early 2011, bringing Deborah Harkness into the spotlight and galvanizing fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar's depth to this riveting story of magic and suspense.
I absolutely loved A Discovery of Witches!
It was a bit different from the YA that I read a lot and it was a nice change. I really enjoyed getting into Diana's daily routine with her work and seeing how she struggles with the witch side of her. Diana comes from a long line of witches, but she does not want to embrace that side of her, she wants a regular life. After the manuscript, Ashmole 782 shows up, so does more supernatural beings, including Matthew who's a vampire. It's not exactly love at first sight for those two, after some time they just sort of realize that they're falling in love. They have common interestest. I really liked the whole vampire-witch romance, never seen that before. Also the fact that their love is forbidden only makes it even more interesting as they have to find a way to be together. They have to travel between England, Europe and the US to figure out everything.
I really enjoyed as Diana's powers came to the surface and you got to experience that and how powerfull it all was.
But the book still ends with a lot of questions that of course won't be answered before the next book, Shadow of Night.
You can tell that there was a lot of work put into this book with the history and facts, Deborah Harkness has taken some of her own knowledge as a Historian of science which only makes for a more rich story and also a very well written one.
About the author:
My life has been a series of left turns that nevertheless took me in the right direction (though it didn't always seem so at the time). I went to college to be a theater major and ended up studying the Renaissance. I went to grad school to become a college administrator and loved to teach so much I became a college professor instead. I thought I wanted to be a Tudor-Stuart historian, and found myself a historian of science. I started blogging because a friend needed help on a project in 2006 and am still blogging about wine today. I started writing a novel in the fall of 2008, and it became a New York Times Bestseller in February 2011: A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. The second volume in the All Souls Trilogy, SHADOW OF NIGHT, came out in July 2012 and debuted at #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller's List. What's next? The final volume of the trilogy, of course. We don't have a release date yet, but when we do it will be posted here.