Book: A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Release Date: 8 February 2011
My Rating: 5 Stars
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.
A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy. A fantasy series that has everything you would want from a fantasy novel that focus’ on vampires, witches and daemons. This topic is nothing new. We’ve all read books within this genre before, it is just really hard to find a book that has been done well. I mean don’t get me started on Twilight and The Vampire Diaries.
I read many reviews on this book before deciding to pick it up and it’s clear to see that has divided the people. I find myself getting upset from the opinions of those who did not enjoy it as much as I did. Yes, I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion I just love it so much and it’s upsetting knowing others do not.
The story follows Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch who is descended from one of the most prestigious witch families leading back to the Salem witch trails and her forbidden relationship with a vampire Matthew Clairmont. From the very beginning I was enthralled in the story. Don’t get me wrong, their relationship is not everything this story ha to offer but it is an essential part of time.
It is a slow-paced story so it you’re expecting a fast-paced romance then you’re not going to get it. Usually if a book is slow-paced I find that I get bored easily which tends to disrupt my reading pattern and I’ll stop reading the book altogether. However, the pace of the book suits the story really well. I honestly think that if the book went at a quicker pace it would have a completely different feel to it. Although it is a slow-paced book I can assure you it is an easy read and you will devour the pages quickly. At this point I will mention that the book is just under 700 pages long, so it is on the lengthy side but due to the writing style you will consume it. It took me just under a week to read it in between work and the everyday jobs that needed completing.
The characters are depicted brilliantly. Diana is so likeable. You watch her develop and grow throughout the book and it makes the story even more enjoyable. I genuinely think that Matthew is book boyfriend material. He is full of tales that need to be shared. I propose a book that solely focus’ on his past. That would be amazing. Furthermore, there are so many interesting characters introduced throughout the story. With long books characters can be introduced and forgotten about easily but all of the characters created for this book bring something to the story, even if it is brief appearance from time to time. You love all the characters you’re supposed to love, and you hate the characters you’re expected to hate.
I’m a complete history nut and Harkness entwines history throughout the story extremely well. Her expertise is demonstrated throughout the novel. After completing the first book and finally having a plot to the series I’m excited to see what the second book has in store. (I’m still all for a Matthew Clairmont spin off!)
I’m not going to lie there are cheesy moments scattered within the book but that is the same with the majority of novels. In my opinion these moments did not disrupt the story in any way. The story continued and my love for the characters and the story grew.
I have heard a few people refer to the book as an adult version of Twilight. I am not a fan of the twilight series, so I withhold my opinion on this concept. However, I feel that if it was to be compared to something it would completely diminish the story. Honestly, it doesn’t need to be compared to anything else.
It has been a long time since I enjoyed a book as much as I have this one. I loved everything about it. It’s so rare that I give out 5 star reviews and it was one of the easiest 5 star reviews I have ever given. From the first chapter I was hooked on this tale of romance, magic and other worldly creatures. I cannot wait to start the second instalment of the series.
I am super excited to start watching the adaptation of A Discovery of Witches that has recently started on Sky One. Now I have finished the book I’m able to watch it without anything being ruined. I’m so thankful for my Sky box right now.
Have you ever read A Discovery of Witches? What are your opinions?
If you haven’t – why? Go and pick it up!