Julie's Reviews > A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
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's review
May 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: audiobooks, science-fiction
Read from April 03 to May 23, 2011

Diana Bishop is a Yale professor who specializes in the study of alchemy and who also happens to be the descendent of a long line of witches. She wants nothing to do with magic and has forsaken magic and all relationships with the magical community. All this changes when she calls up a long lost manuscript in the Bodlian Library at Oxford. This ancient book has long been coveted by witches, demons, and vampires and Diana becomes a target and can no longer ignore her magical legacy.

A Discovery of Witches is the debut novel of Deborah Harkness and the beginning of the All Souls trilogy. If you took the magical world of Harry Potter, added in the element of paranormal romance from the Twilight Series and threw in the historical background of Dan Brown's Da Vinci code series, you would have a close approximation of this book. The world Harkness has created is an exciting one. Witches, demons, and vampires exist, appearing as mortals to the human population. But the 3 magical races are wary of each other and do not mix. When Diana needs to team up with 1500 year old vampire Matthew Clairmont, they create an uneasy alliance. It is pretty easy to predict how their relationship will heat up breaking ancient rules between the magical groups. I loved all of the background and origin stories of the magical creatures. Harkness is a history professor and it's clear that there is excellent research and background in this book. The romance between a witch and vampire added to the story and seems almost a pre-requisite for any book in the paranormal genre these days. Overall, I'd give this book 3.5 stars for this book - not outstanding, but definitely lots of promise and I'm looking forward to reading more of this series.

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

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Piat Orendain I agree with Julie that is an interesting start.

Though, I must say that the romance bogged me down a little--does everyone need to pander to the Twilight audience if it's a para-normal novel? Diana's denial also frustrated me, but conversely, Matthew's patience kept me rooting for their relationship and the story itself. It didn't hurt that he loves wine so much and that the author is obviously an oenophile.

I am also really interested in how the series progresses and what kind of sides the "war" creates.

All in all a fun "read." Enjoyable and easy.

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