Saturday, October 13, 2012

Witchy Review: A Discovery of Witches

Hello All! We have been busy reading and reviewing some wonderful self-published books. We are hoping to have some of those reviews up and ready within the next few weeks. In the meanwhile, hope you enjoy this review of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.


Title: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Viking Penguin
Length: 585 Pages
Released: 2011
Genres: Fantasy Fiction
Misc: Purchased, read softcover
Thought this would be fitting because Halloween is so close and WE love witches! 

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.

In a sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches became the "it" book of early 2011, bringing Deborah Harkness into the spotlight and galvanizing fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar's depth to this riveting story of magic and suspense. And the story continues in Book Two, Shadow of Night.
The Discovery of Witches is a different sort of vampire, witch, and demon novel. Mrs. Harkness is absolutely brilliant! Usually, when I come across a book this thick...I think twice about reading it but once started, I breezed right through. When I say breeze, do not think that it was an easy read. There was subject matter in the book that could potentially be hard concepts to grasp.
DNA? Yes, you learn the specifics but that is not surprising considering that Harkness is a professor in real life. Don't let that discourage you though, I caught on quickly. 
I love the relationship she creates between Matthew and Diana. Sigh. Yes, he is super hot and rich (kind of like every other vampire in novels these days) but he is genuine and caring. I loved the way Harkness wrote Matthews character. I couldn't stop imagining his sexy accent. The book has a perfect combination of sexy adventure, and romantic sweetness. 

Holy tea cups and wine bottles! Could this vampire drink wine? Each time I read, I wanted a glass of wine and a cup of hot tea. I secretly wish I could attend oxford and when I visit Europe, I will be visiting the Bodleian Library. Harkness world is brilliant and parts of it were different. I loved how she used the Bishop's as Diana's ancestors, that was the perfect touch of history in the story.
But there were times when I felt I could compare the basics of her vampires to other popular vampire novels which was somewhat of a turn off. As I read further into the novel, I felt the author hit the nail on the head and made her vampires so different they could only be described as her own. When I finished, I wanted the next book immediately!

If you love witches, deamons, sexy vampires that are wrapped in academia, romance, and history than this novel is for you. Mrs. Harkness did a wonderful job with her debut novel and I am looking forward to reading book 2 of the All Souls Trilogy. Bravo!

 Witchy Rating: 4 Black Cats
Due to complex content matter and some overly used characteristics found in other fantasy vampire novels.

Opinion has been brought to you by Elphie at Witchy Reviews

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