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."


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


  1. Wow! That sounds like a seriously good book, though I'm put off by the size, I admit (I struggle with 400 p books, so over 700 is a bit of a stretch forme)
    However, I do love the sound of this book. It sounds very interesting to me how you describe there is some conflict between them 'cause of their sort of generational clash.

    Thanks for the review, I'm glad the time investment paid off!

  2. YAYYYY I'm so glad you liked it! I need to read it soon. I absolutely love books that have me thinking about it even when I'm not reading it. Those are the best :) Awesome review, Daisy-girl!

  3. Lots of people are calling this a romance but I didn't really get that from it, just a good solid urban fantasy novel. But completely agree with you about the leisurely stroll, it's long and not fast paced but it just doesn't drag! I should be meeting Deborah in September too, squee!

  4. I'm definitely excited to read this! It sounds absolutely brilliant and I cannot WAIT to read it!

  5. WoW!! I've had this for over a year and I haven't read it. The size is kind of intimidating haha but omg you make it sounds SO amazing! Wonderful review, Daisy!!