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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

The life of a witch isn’t all make-believe.

The normal, human, life Diana Bishop is determined to live leads her to the Bodleian Library of Oxford in her research as a scholarly historian.  Her research includes an old alchemical text, Ashmole 782, which is bound by witchcraft and may foretell an otherworldly secret. 

When Diana opens the text, witches, vampires, and daemons begin to stir up the library.  The creatures want her stuffed away powers and her life is threatened.

My thought:  The writing brought me into the scholarly atmosphere and I could feel the “real” world intermingle with the supernatural.  Scary and exciting at the same time.

The three underworld creatures don’t mix well, yet it’s a powerful and gorgeous vampire, Matthew de Clermont, who guards her against attacks.  Diana reluctantly trusts his efforts, knowing that a vampire can kill a witch with one bite.  He urges her to use her rare and extraordinary gift of witchcraft to save the text’s information, herself, and the forbidden love swirling around them.

 My thought:  If I had witchy powers, I’d definitely put them to use.  I kept urging Diana to accept her talent as I read.  Also, I don’t blame her for succumbing to a hot vampire.

Yet Diana needs a teacher, a witch who knows ancient magic well.  Diana and Matthew mingle their powers and gather strength from their family to ward off the random magical and spell-filled attacks.  Ultimately, they must be dropped into the past as a safe haven and for lessons in witchcraft. 

My thought:  As a history professor, Harkness fills the tale with history, suspense, secrets, and an undying passion-smoldering and ready to burst into flame.  The writing style is intelligent and I wanted to procrastinate many things to read more.  A Discovery of Witches is the first in a trilogy.  Diana and Matthew were dumped in the past and I believe that will be where the next story begins.  I’ll let you know next year when the second book is published as I will definitely read it.            


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