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Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Title: A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Viking
Publish Date: February 8, 2011
Source: Library

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a fiction fan.
  • You like the paranormal.
  • You have an eye for detail.
What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

I had heard a lot of good things about A Discovery of Witches and with the second book having just come out, I thought it was the perfect time for me to dive into this one. I definitely was not disappointed. Standing at close to 600 pages, I thought that I might get a little bored with the book (I really have the attention span of a flea, especially during the summer). This was not the case at all. The book has a great story line that really keeps you going. There's a lot of mystery in this book and I had a great time trying to put together what was happening in the book.

The characters were cool too. You have Diana, a witch who doesn't really understand the full extent of her power and is happier doing research at the Bodleian Library at Oxford (which I really, really want to go to now). You have Matthew, a vampire who is also another professor. I know you might be saying, oh no, not more paranormal (I was a little incredulous about whether or not I would like this book based on the fact that I'm a twee bit tired of the paranormal myself) but I can promise you that in this book, it's pretty awesome. I really felt myself getting attached to the characters and that really made me excited for the next book! And there's a love story, which I loved!

I loved the writing. Harkness pulls you right into the story. She also does a really good job with vividly describing what's going on in the book. This is a story full of really fantastic detail. I loved how easy it was to imagine the characters and the setting (the French countryside and Oxford).

This is really a great story for book lovers. Some of the mystery surrounds an ancient manuscript. Both main characters are avid readers. The vampire has an enviable collection of first edition books (but what else would you collect if you were living for forever - seriously!). This is a perfect summer read!


  1. Despite seeing this one everywhere, I've been a little skeptical as to whether it's something I would like... but your review has me thinking it might be!

  2. I loved reading this book! It was written well. I couldn't put it down when I started to read it. Only took me a week to finish it. Currently reading the sequel right now from my local library. Meg trust me you will enjoy reading this book very much!

    1. Ooo, I hope I can get to the sequel soon!

    2. It is a really good sequel so far. Couldn't wait to get my hands on the second book because of the way the first book ended.


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