Friday, December 06, 2013

Book Review: A Discovery of Witches

Just when I think I've read the BEST historical/magical/vampirical novel, another great one comes out to dethrone the last one I read. I've seen Discovery of Witches around for awhile {as in, before I came to China, awhile} and I finally checked it out from my library {yep, my library in the U.S. Seriously, bringing my Kindle here was the BEST decision I ever made}.

Goodness, y'all, I am hooked. Hooked, I say. It combines everything I love in a novel: historical fiction, romance, magic, and books. Yes, please!

The story follows two main protagonists: Diana Bishop, a young witch and historian who inadvertently calls up a powerful book from the Oxford library, and Matthew Clairmont, a scientist and centuries-old vampire. The two cross paths as vast numbers of witches, vampires and daemons become interested in the alchemical manuscript she happened upon. They end up falling in love, a major violation of the ancient rules the govern the creature world.

Deborah Harkness has crafted a fantastic story that is highly reminiscent of Anne Rice's finest vampire novels. The characters are well-developed and the plot is well-paced. I especially enjoy the little mysteries surrounding Diana, her powers, her parents, and how all of this connects to the hostility that surrounds her when she calls the text from the stacks. Harkness has done a good job of feeding little tidbits to her readers and leaving juicy clues. However, none are big enough that you can really figure anything out until she does it for you.

If you're into anything resembling fantasy or historical fiction, I urge you to pick up this novel. It is most definitely worth your time.

What have you been reading lately?


  1. The second book is even better. I can't wait for the third one. I want to marry Matthew Clairmont.

  2. Yup, going to have to read this, it's right up my ally!

  3. I've been wanting to read this one for a while now, and your review is making me want to even more. Can't wait!

  4. what an interesting book!!

    happy Monday!

  5. This is easily one of my favorite series. I feel that there is something here for everyone. Professor Harkness has written a rich book filled with mythology, history, geography, religion...there are no accidents here. I highly recommend that anyone who has enjoyed this book to check out the campaign to have Richard Armitage cast as Matthew Clairmont. Check it out here: or