Monday, 11 August 2014

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

What They Say:

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. 

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 Twilightseries-with an extra serving of historical realism.

What I Say:

I would like to thank the publisher Headline for approving me to read this on Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

We meet Diana when she is researching in the Bodleian Library, a book the Ashmole 182 lands in her research pile, little does Diana know that this has been missing for 150 years and all manner of other creatures are looking for it, enter smouldering vampire Matthew and you have the beginning of a superb story that has you gripped.

I will say the book is quite long and in the beginning I struggled with it, there wasn't enought action for me, I stuck with it and I am so glad that I did.  As you follow the story there are good and bad on both sides witches, deamons and vampires.

Diana at times was annoying over her magic but then you also find out why she is the way she is and begin to understand.

Matthew is a smouldering vampire that had lots of secrets to hide but he also loves Diana and this frightens him.

As I have said this is a long book but it does set the story up perfectly, I stayed up all night to finish this and now looking when I can squeeze book 2 into my reading schedule.

5 out of 5 Stars

About The Author

My life has been a series of left turns that nevertheless took me in the right direction (though it didn't always seem so at the time). I went to college to be a theater major and ended up studying the Renaissance. I went to grad school to become a college administrator and loved to teach so much I became a college professor instead. I thought I wanted to be a Tudor-Stuart historian, and found myself a historian of science. I started blogging because a friend needed help on a project in 2006 and am still blogging about wine today. I started writing a novel in the fall of 2008, and it became a New York Times Bestseller in February 2011: A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. The second volume in the All Souls Trilogy, SHADOW OF NIGHT, came out in July 2012 and debuted at #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller's List. What's next? The final volume of the trilogy, of course: THE BOOK OF LIFE, coming July 15 2014 to the US, UK, Canada, and Republic of Ireland.

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