Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Title: A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness

Series: All Souls Trilogy #1
Publication:  February 8th 2011 by Penguin
Genre: Adult ~ Urban Fantasy ~ Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

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.

I don't even know why I'm attempting to review this book because it was so epic but I'm going to give it a shot. I don't read a lot of books of this size - almost 600 pages but with A Discovery of Witches it was surprisingly easy to read and really enjoy this book. 

I'm still a bit surprised by how this book basically sucked me into the story and didn't let go. I really liked Diana because she's a historian and I happen to be crazy about history and there was a lot of talk about history in this book so that was a huge part of me liking it. Matthew kind of sneaked up on me like he did Diana and got me to love him. It's not just because I adore vampires. I don't know, there was something about him. 

There were a few teeny tiny things that I didn't like completely which made me give this book four stars instead of five. I liked how this was a story that moved slowly and build everything up except for the romance. When that was introduced it started happening fast. It was maybe a little too fast for my liking. There was also a bit over overuse with characters saying "it's not my tale to tell". 

And also towards the end there was a lot of new information and things started getting really crazy, also a little too much. Don't let this scare you off because other than this it's been one of the best books I have read!

A lot happened in this book and I think I'm forgetting to say a billion things but yeah, I really liked this book and I think everyone should give it a try. I also heard BBC is going to make this into a tv series, which is making me all kinds of excited. I can't wait!

If you like urban fantasy, vampires, witches and well-written stories as well as forbidden love, A Discovery of Witches is the one you should read! 

       About the Author:

Deborah Harkness is a professor of history at the University of Southern California. She has received Fullbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. She also writes an award-winning wine blog.


  1. Hate when a amazing books fall from their 5 star potential because of little things. Alas, it can't be helped(; Glad you liked it, I think I might give it a try!
    Esty @ Boarding with Books

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. I didn't like it because of the way the romance progressed, not just how fast it developed but because of how she just did whatever he told her to. It's not a series I would read any more of, but that's just me.

  3. I've heard this one pulls people in and holds them there. It's great to hear you felt the same way. :) Thanks for sharing.


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