A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of WitchesA Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Published by Viking Adult, an imprint of Penguin

From the publisher:

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.

I am here to add my voice to the chorus of those who say that A Discovery of Witches is a fantastic read. I went into this book with a little bit of trepidation, I was afraid I wouldn’t love it as everyone else seemed to, but I needn’t have worried because this novel was such a fun adventure, so well-written, and the characters just leap off the page. Fantastic.

I have to admit, it took me a little bit to get into the story when I first picked up the book, but once I was involved enough in Diana’s life, I was swept away and loved every minute. Harkness’ writing is excellent and she is a truly talented story-teller. I was never bored while reading this chunkster, and in fact I had an extremely difficult time putting the book down.

One thing bugged me a bit, and that is the possessiveness of Matthew and Diana’s relationship. What is it with vampires in fiction being overly controlling? I don’t get it, and I definitely felt like it didn’t mesh with Diana’s personality to be in a relationship with this controlling, possessive tone. I am hoping that this will calm down a bit in the second and third books.

Other than that, though, I truly enjoyed every minute I spent with A Discovery of Witches. It has everything – fantasy, history, romance, action – and it is a book that is not to be missed.

8 thoughts on “A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness”

  1. I’m listening to this right now on audio, thanks to Heather. Because it isn’t in disc form, I have no idea how far I am through it, but I’m enjoying it. Some of the things are goofy and I find myself rolling my eyes…his solid jaw and dark eyes and whispering mysterious murmurings, her irresistibility, etc. but this is vampire love, you know, and I guess it is expected! The world-building is fantastic and I’ve decided I need to just give up and go with it!

  2. I am so glad that you loved this one! It was one of my favorites, although the possessive bits did get to me at times too. I have heard that this gets better in the second book, and I have that here, just waiting for me after I finish Wolf Hall. I am clocking in at over 20 hours with that book, and have about 4 more to go. Wish me luck with it.

    I do also agree that this book started off a little slowly, but when it got rolling, it was a really amazing read. I liked this post a lot. Another lover of this amazing book!

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