Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness' debut novel, A Discovery of Witches: A Novel, is amazing.  I was drawn in from the first and did not want to put it down.  It's like a mature Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) meets The Da Vinci Code.  The characters are interesting and complex, the story is exciting without being too ambitious or overcomplicated.  The book held me spellbound and is responsible for a few hours of lost sleep. It's an historical-supernatural-romance-adventure-mystery--my favorite genres wrapped into an exceptionally good book.

Diana Bishop is not going to use her magic--at least, that's what she keeps telling herself.  She is the last in a long line of powerful witches, with a father as powerful as her mother.  However, having lost her parents when she was seven years old has turned her away from her heritage and her magic.  While researching alchemical manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, she comes in contact with a volume that reaches out to her magic.  Panicked, she returns the book to the stacks, but it is too late--word is out that she has discovered the lost Ashmole 782 and now all species of creatures are after her.

Enter Matthew Clairmont, renowned scientist and vampire.  He has been searching for Ashmole 782 for centuries and is determined to retrieve the book Diana has recalled.  He feels drawn to Diana, feeling the need to protect her from the other creatures, despite witches and vampires being notorious separatists.  They are thrown into an uneasy friendship when the worlds of witches, vampires and daemons descend upon Diana, all looking for the manuscript.

A Discovery of Witches: A Novel is one of the best books I've read in quite a while.  It's clearly written to have a sequel, possibly more than one, and I am anxiously awaiting the next book.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading.

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