☆••*´¨`*•.☆•• 5-stars ☆••*´¨`*•.☆••
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.
One of my all time favorite books that truly and unexpectedly changed my life. I’ve met so many wonderful, supportive friends–from places near and far–as a result of reading this book and exploring its hidden treasures.
The characters are rich and complex. The settings are so vividly described that you feel everything the characters feel. I was wrapped up with the sense of foreboding when Diana first meets Matthew in the all but empty Bodleian Library.
The plot is full and paced well. There is plenty of detail and set up in the beginning, and I wouldn’t say that section moved along quickly. However, it didn’t need to for me because the set up was a perfect way to meet Diana Bishop, professor and reluctant witch. From the time that Matthew Clairmont enters the picture, so to speak, the storyline picks up.
My original review was short and to the point because I was too busy researching all the beautiful details Deborah Harkness embedded in this book:
A Discovery of Witches is an amazing story filled with history. The author, a USC professor of history, has made the study of history interesting for all her fans. She certainly broadened my horizons with all the “Easter Eggs” she buried in her first novel. The first couple of chapters, I wasn’t sure the book was for me, but after that I was hooked. I am on my fourth re-read, and I’ve acquired the audio and ebook versions as well as the hardback. I am anxiously awaiting the publication of the second book of the trilogy. The book is wonderful, and it is now my first suggestion when people ask me to recommend a book.
Ms. Harkness has woven a creative tale of paranormal and human creatures that is full of history, intrigue, romance and tolerance. Her stories are as magical as one of Goody Alsop’s knots.
If you’re already a fan of the All Souls Trilogy series, check out these great, well-researched and excellently maintained fan sites: