Book Synopsis: [goodreads]
Pages 579 | Published 2011 by Viking Penguin
Link to Authors website
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.
Book Review: 3.5 stars
Ok so my reading pattern mostly goes like this: I pick up a book of my choosing get about halfway through it before I notice another book that I desperately want to read and then abandon the first book for the second one. Its a vicious cycle that lately I haven’t been able to get out of…until now.
I’m not going to mislead you in suggesting that A Discovery of Witches is a must read for everyone, because its not. It actually begins at a rather slow pace, and is rather consistent with this fact throughout the rest of the book. If you are a fan of world building (like real old school detail overload world building) then you won’t find it hard to press on to the even better stuff.
Maddison actually did some research after reading this book (and then recommending it to me) and found out that many of the texts mentioned actually exist. This pretty much means that your not only going to get a fantastical world with amazing and interesting characters but that it is based on ‘some’ fact. MIND BLOWN! …Just imagine the hours spent researching!
Matthew and Diana’s romance was pretty intense, and although this book has been linked to Twilight I didn’t really see the comparisons…besides the fact that she falls in love with an overprotective rather dominant vampire. The course of the novel does pan out over about a week, and a lot of crazy, otherworldly stuff happens in that time. Hence the number of pages! I must admit that Diana did annoy me at times. Purely because she wouldn’t use her freaking witch powers!
The introduction of other mystical creatures and a massive secret all held within the pages of a certain alchemical text was intriguing to read. I adored the history and paranormal elements. Just don’t give up if you give this one a go, because you won’t be disappointed.