Published by Viking Penguin on February 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Paranormal
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Hardcover, Paperback
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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.
This book was recommended to me by Jess from Goodreads as a book to remove off my TBR pile.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, is to me nothing like Twilight. This book was filled with wonderful descriptions and characters that blended well to create this new world where witches and creatures lived amongst humans.
Diana Bishop is a strong heroine, a witch whose ancestor dates back to Salem, and I loved Matthew Clairmont, a 1,500 year old vampire scientist. The supporting characters were great too, like Hamish Osborne. He’s a great friend to Matthew.
Dr. Harkness does a great job in building her world and how all the creatures live and interact with each other with their tentative alliance. For examples, vampires are their own sect, witches another, and then daemons. I love that various creatures go and do yoga. 🙂 I also think it is interesting how book that Diana finds Ashmole 782, means something to each of the creatures. As Hamish describes it to Matthew, vampires know definitely who they are. When they are turned they are vampires. Whereas, witches and daemons don’t know how they came to being.
Like with any first book in a series, the book does not have a lot of action in the beginning half but more setting up the pieces for series. The last half of the book is where it got more interesting for me. View Spoiler »[ With the quest of finding out more about the missing pages from the Ashmole 782, the threat of the Congregation, and the whole time walking concept was fun to read. I can’t wait to see how Diana and Matthew do in the 1590s. I love that Diana and Matthew continue to go on their adventure together. They very much grew on me as the main couple. 🙂 « Hide Spoiler
This was a great beginning to a series and I look forward to the reading the rest.