Amy's Reviews > A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
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's review
Feb 16, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: read-on-recommendation, creatures, fantasy, made-me-look-something-up, time-travel-reincarnation-etc, first-novel-or-book, bookcrossing, books-about-books
Recommended for: maria
Read from February 16 to 22, 2011

At the beginning of this book I thought I was going to like it a lot more than I did at the end -- not because the writing or plot let me down, but mostly because I didn't realize it's the first of a trilogy. Some of the story arcs came to resolution, but the main one kind of left me hanging, and I wasn't keen on that. Now that my major gripe is off my chest I can get on with things.

This book takes the things that are normally elements of paranormal romances and such and sets them in a literate, intellectual background. There is science and history, both accurately related (for which the scientist and historian bits of my psyche are quite grateful.) There's an world where witches, vampires and daemons exist alongside duller humans. There's mystery, romance, vengeance and a bunch more. There's a lot of backstory, some very memorable characters, the words clove and cinnamon used a bit too often, and a lot of descriptors of smells and tastes. There are ghosts ("Sorry, we've got ghosts" is a great quote). And there's a house that has totally delighted me, but if you don't read up to chapter 32, you'll never meet it.

Professor HArkness has done a fine job in this story (you can read the plot elsewhere.) The writing is eloquent (if sometimes a tad longwinded) and interesting, dialogue good. The shifting POV caught me offguard, but I adjusted. And I marveled at the skill Diana has to make just about everyone who hates her initially end up adoring her. Must be a witchy thing. I just wish I didn't have to go on to another book or two to finish the story.
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Reading Progress

02/16/2011 page 94
16.0% "Witches, history, vampires, libraries, daemons, lost books, Oxford... And a yoga class for supernaturals?! Enjoying this." 5 comments
02/19/2011 page 208
35.0% "Sure is a lot of backstory here."
02/22/2011 page 517
87.0% "I think my favorite character in this book is the Bishop's house house in Madison."
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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy was there anyone on my friend's list in the US that wanted to read this?

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