Inara's Reviews > A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
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** spoiler alert ** When Dr. Diana Bishop finds by accident an old alchemical manuscript at the Oxford Bodleian Library she isn´t prepared for the uproar in the supernatural world that follows her detection. Suddenly everybody and their mother is interested in her and her ability to conjure this book – what she can´t repeat by the way. Although Diana is also a descendant of a powerful witch family she has long ago renounced her family´s heritage and created for her a life solely depending on reason and scholarly abilities.
When she starts to feel threatened by otherwordly beings because of this book the only help she gets is from Matthew Clairmont a fellow scientist - and a vampire. Vampires and witches are deadly enemies and her fellow witches don´t take it lightly that she teams up with such a creature..

Plot-wise I liked this book a lot, the mysterious manuscript, witches, vampires, daemons and some other supernatural creatures, an ancient order of knights and a rather interesting story. My only complain is – once again - the heroine of this story. I couldn´t understand her abandonment of her heritage and when we get to know the reasons for her reluctance to embrace her witchery powers, I wasn´t fully convinced of the rightness of her decision and if she shouldn´t have decided otherwise. But okay, I can live with that...
What I can´t live with are her stupid tstl-moments and she has quite a few let me tell you. Also does she display quite some questionable behaviour in regard of Matthew´s secrets that did nothing to endear her to me. And I hate it when grown-up women act like love-sick teenagers it only makes me roll my eyes in annoyance. Example? Part of the story takes place in France where Matthew´s "mother" Ysabeau lives and when Matthew is on his way home from a short trip and his arrival is announced to be in some hours Diana races down the stairs to the door to stand guard till his arrival, she doesn´t eat, doesn´t wash her hair, doesn´t put on nice clothes – nothing!Uggh - I wouldn´t want to welcome my hopefully soon-to-be-lover with a rumbling stomach and bad hair. I could understand her behaviour very well if she had only minutes before his arrival but HOURS? If this behaviour should tell me how great her love is – I totally missed the point, sorry. And by the way Diana admitting her love to Matthew came out a bit of the blue for me, yes, feelings started to grow but her declaration of love was mildly put not very convincing. Besides - the love story was a bit boring...

She also turns quite into super-witch in the course of this book. She has all powers a witch can think of and with this abilities always popping up at the right moment she always saves the day what makes her a kind of Mary Sue uber-witch in my opinion.

Matthew –the hero tall dark,sexy with many secrets was an interesting character but I just have to make up my mind if I consider him just an idiot for falling for such a silly person like Diana.

On the other hand I liked Ysabeau with her forward character, and when she lets Diana have it "behave like a witch and not like some pathetic human" -I was applauding.

Finally the first person narration gives us insight in Diana´s thoughts and to understand her and her motifs better but honestly I would preferred sometimes not to take part in her ignorant and over confident internal ramblings.

Although I couldn´t really warm up to Diana I liked the book (and the cover) and will definitely read the second book in the series. I´m just too curious how the story will proceed..

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Reading Progress

02/27/2014 marked as: read-did-not-keep
05/26/2014 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Kelly (new) - added it

Kelly Part of the story takes place in France where Matthew´s "mother" Ysabeau lives and when Matthew is on his way home from a short trip and his arrival is announced to be in some hours Diana races down the stairs to the door to stand guard till his arrival, she doesn´t eat, doesn´t wash her hair, doesn´t put on nice clothes – nothing!Uggh - I wouldn´t want to welcome my hopefully soon-to-be-lover with a rumbling stomach and bad hair. I could understand her behaviour very well if she had only minutes before his arrival but HOURS? If this behaviour should tell me how great her love is – I totally missed the point, sorry.

Eek! I must not really love my BF then (according to Diana)! When I'm waiting for him and I know it'll be hours, I eat some food and read a book! The horrors! Eye roll...


Inara Yeah, this situation bugged me because it is so totally out of my behaviour to prepare for a visit of a potential lover...lol! I would probably spend hours in front of my closet trying to figure out what to wear... not to slutty not to matronly - difficult decision! And let´s not talk about my hair - it has to be nothing but perfect! But maybe that´s just my problem.. ;D


message 3: by Kelly (new) - added it

Kelly Ah yes, the pre-lover fashion crisis! My usual routine, as far as I can tell, is to find the perfect outfit and then spill coffee on it while I'm waiting, leaving me to conjure up an equally awesome outfit at the last minute.


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