A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

 About the book - 
In Harkness's lively debut, witches, vampires, and demons outnumber humans at Oxford's Bodleian Library, where witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her. Against all occult social propriety, Bishop turns for protection to tall, dark, bloodsucking man-about-town Clairmont. Their research raises questions of evolution and extinction among the living dead, and their romance awakens centuries-old enmities. Harkness imagines a crowded universe where normal and paranormal creatures observe a tenuous peace. "Magic is desire made real," Bishop says after both her desire and magical prowess exceed her expectations. Harkness brings this world to vibrant life and makes the most of the growing popularity of Gothic adventure with an ending that keeps the Old Lodge door wide open.

My Review - I am giving this a startling 4 stars! Let me begin by saying that I didn't think I was going to like this book, and I didn't even really want to like this book as much as I did. I only read it as part of a group read on Shelfari. I keep saying I do not like Vampire books (Vampires are a huge part of this story). I keep saying that I only like light quirky fun Witch stories (there was nothing light, quirky or fun about this book) this is very serious and even dark in places. It started out very slow and boring, VERY historical and technical. I thought the whole first half was void of feelings and emotion. So how can I be giving it 4 stars?

Well the last half totally makes up for it! I know it seems like a very long time for it to take 300 pages to kick in, but this is a long book (almost 600 pages!). Around page 250 - 300 the book changed - it became more personal, less history, and lots more emotion! It became a great book! This is the first of a 3 book series (I think). The whole time I was reading the first 300 pages, I thought I was not going to be reading the rest of the series. Now I know I WILL!

I am not really going to talk about the story because I don't want to give anything away, but I loved the Characters! Diana Bishop is a strong but sweet young woman you can't help but like. Matthew (the Vampire) is one of my favorites in the book, I know, go figure, but you can't help but fall in love with him too! The other two I loved were Diana's Aunts, they reminded me so much of the Aunts in Alice Hoffman's "Practical Magic".

If you are considering reading this very popular book - consider no longer - Just read it!
I can't wait for the second book to come out!


  1. This is definitely going on my list. Thanks for the review:) I'm not really into the whole vampire/demon thing either...but I do have a bit of a weak spot for witches!

  2. I'm very glad to hear you liked this one. I picked it up a while back. Now just to find time to read it.

  3. O it turns on ya. Very cool. Great review.

  4. I liked the technical stuff, but then I studied history and archives and am a science geek, so that explains it.

    I'm a bit like you about the vampires. Don't usually like stuff with vampires too well (print or film), outside of the Buffy-verse and Being Human. But loved them in this.


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