A Discovery of Witches is a book by Deborah Harkness about a witch called Diana, who accidently stumbles upon an important enchanted manuscript from Oxford's Bodleian Library. She is subsequently bombarded with daemons, witches, and vampires all wanting information about her discovery. The only one who seems interested in protecting her from all this is a vampire called Matthew and what follows is a beautiful forbidden love story between the two. Having a very ordinary first chapter I wasn’t expecting a great deal from this book, perhaps a half hearted attempt at emulating the Twilight series. By the end of the third chapter however I was well and truly hooked!
Perhaps what made the book so engaging was the plethora of well-rounded, interesting characters. So much thought had been given to the jobs and personalities of these different creatures and how they would slot into today’s society. The constant tension created by the author and the attention to the senses of each of the characters pulled you into every scene, keeping the reader's interest right to the end. I am now itching to read the second in the trilogy, Shadow of Night, which is due out this July.
For any women over the age of 16 this is a must-read; it has certainly made my top 3 vampire/witch books along with Bram Stoker's Dracula and Witch Child by Celia Rees. For anyone under the age of 16 though I’d stick to Witch Child, which is along similar lines but much more teenage orientated. You can read a review of A Discovery of Witches here.
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