A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)Featured
A Discovery of Witches became the "it" book of early 2011, bringing Deborah Harkness into the spotlight and galvanizing fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar's depth to this riveting story of magic and suspense.
What I really loved about this story was how Matthew, the 1500 year old vampire, is a geneticist who knew Darwin and takes a whole different approach to his theory. The author does a great job peeling away stereotypes about vampires too. We learn that some of the legends are humans--warmbloods--attempts to hide truths about the vampires. Sorry, no sparkly ones here.
Diana is a scholar who happens to find an ancient manuscript in an Oxford library. Seems everyone in the paranormal world, including Matthew, have been looking for that manuscript as it holds the keys to their survival. These creatures now are after her to find out the source of her magic. Trouble is, she doesn't know it herself.
Diana is a tough cookie at first and tries to deny being a witch. The chemistry between her and Matthew builds slowly as she learns more about him and also her own heritage. They are like a modern day Romeo and Juliet as their love defies a centuries old taboo that vampires and witches can't be romantically involved.
The writing is lush and very descriptive without any graphic images that might turn off some readers. Harkness is a real storyteller with writing that will cast a spell over you.
There's twists and turns throughout this story. I was hooked. I loved all the past lives of Matthew. I also loved the scholar side of this story. Harkness did her research. The character go to England, France, and New York on their quest to find out the mystery behind the manuscript. Diana also grows and learns secrets about herself and why she was able to break a spell.
There's something for everyone--mystery, suspense, adventure, magic, vampires, and a romance that is Diana Gabaldon worthy. There's even a hint of time travel that will be in the sequel.
A book for those who want to cross over to a more mature paranormal. Can't wait to read more!
2. Great premise of a 1500 year old vampire falling for a witch
3. Love the whole Darwinism take on vampires and other paranormal creatures
4. Characters that are likeable
5. Has a Gabaldon feel without all the graphic writing