Friday, July 20, 2012
Review of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Title/Author: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness
Publisher/Date published: Penguin, February 8th 2012
How I got this book: bought it for myself while shopping for Sinterklaas gifts last year :)
Goodreads summary: "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."
WITCHES!! YAY FOR WITCHES!!
I can't believe I'd forgotten how much I love witches! I have ever since I was a kid and never stopped wishing I could be one myself! Also, YAY ADULT PARANORMAL ROMANCE!!
I was a bit hesitant going into this one, I'd heard really good things about it, but the sheer size of this book was somewhat scary. That's 722 pages I was committing to and with my limited time to spend on reading these days, it just has to be worth it. I needed about 30 pages to get into this story, but after that it all went smoothly and I found myself thinking about all these characters and the things that were happening even when I wasn't reading it. And yes, that is a VERY good sign!
I really liked Diana and Matthew. I loved how their relationship develops and the sweet moments between them mixed in with the clashing of their personalities and creature-specific traits. It wouldn't have been believable if a vampire who has lived for many, MANY lifetimes and a modern witch would have just matched without any challenge whatsoever. I love that not everything runs smoothly! I love that both were flawed and felt real. Even though it did sorta creep me out for a minute when I discovered how old Matthew really is... But I got over that pretty quickly.
I love the creature-lore with the three different species: vampires, witches and daemons. I love that we're not dealing with stereotypical vampires and I giggled at some of the mentions of famous historical figures actually being creatures!
I also loved that Deborah Harkness has a magic system in which there's a difference between magic and witchcraft! The way she explains it feels right to me somehow!
Though A Discovery of Witches takes its time to get to the excitement, I was never once bored. I didn't feel like the pace was too slow, it felt like a leisurely stroll through a beautiful world I could I could take my time to get to know. I love that I feel like I really know the characters now, it's one of the things I enjoy most about reading longer books and series.
And there were a lot of characters for me to cry for, be happy for, laugh with and just basically root for.
I can't believe it took me this long to read A Discovery of Witches and I'm so glad I have the sequel Shadow of Night on my eReader that I actually started reading right after finishing this one! Recommended for all you fans of witches and paranormal romance!
My rating: 5 stars