The Starving Bibliophile

Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).

A Discovery of Witches

Summary: When historian Diana Bishop opens the bewitched alchemical manuscript Ashmole 782 in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer, for witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume. Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

Before I even get started, if you’re not a big reader (i.e. to you a book is less than 300 pages with a size 12 Arial font) then stop reading this review. Right now. Stop! Okay, so now that I only have faithful readers, let me give you a book-induced pleasure: this book is 579 glorious pages with a font size of approx. 12–in Times New Roman. That’s like an Arial 10. And there’s no double space. It’s completely single-spaced. Okay, okay; I’ll stop gushing over that now. Oh. My. Gosh. This book was fantastic! It was like The Da Vinci Code meets Harry Potter meets a-cool-version-of-Twilight (Quick side story: At one point Matthew Clairmont is snooping around in Diana Bishop’s apartment and then starts to watch her while she’s sleeping. Doesn’t that sound a little familiar? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Haha.). You’re probably thinking, “Umm… Jenna? Helllloooo? That sounds awful!” but trust me when I say, “No, trust me: it’s effin awesome.” When you open this book, it’s like stepping into history museum. It overwhelmed me at first, but it was expected. After all, the author Deborah Harkness is a history professor. And BOY did she put a lot of history into this book, not to mention science, mythology, and–get this–medicine. There’s so much in it that’s factual it’s ridiculous. And even though the book seems to sometimes drag on, it’s rich. I also thought, why such a long book? (Not that I’m complaining!) As I was reading, I even tried to see places where the book could have been broken up, but Harkness flows the story-line so well that it would be impossible, unless you ended it in a really odd spot. DEFINATELY check out this book. It’s a sure winner. And for those who didn’t stop reading after my warning, good for you! :]


2 comments on “A Discovery of Witches

  1. Pingback: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness « Blackbird Books

  2. Pingback: Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness | The Lit Witch: A Book Blog

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This entry was posted on July 9, 2011 by in Books and tagged , , , , , , , .
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