A Discovery of Witches ePub Edition by Deborah Harkness Click Here to Download the Book 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. Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.
Reviews I loved this book. What a great view on what the lives of witches, vampires and daemons would be like in modern times. It had all the elements of a great book: history, drama, conflict, suspense and of course, unrequited love. Like most other females in 2005 I read the Twilight series and thought they were great, but I thought this take on magical creatures was way better. The storyline was more mature and left out a lot of the immature teenage angst that the Twilight series had. The slight downside of this was that the romance and passion between Matthew and Diana was very subdued in comparison, although still evident. The writing style was very detailed and there were several times when I thought I might need to look up ancient history words or terms that I wasn't familiar with, but was happy when I continued reading slightly on and found that the meaning or definition was woven in to the story through the characters dialogue. Part one of this trilogy is set in more modern times, and from the looks of the sequel it will give a contrast by being set in Elizabethan England, so am looking forward to reading on and comparing the two settings.
I remember thinking when A Discovery of Witches came out that I absolutely have to read that book because it sounds so amazing! It was getting rave reviews and I love books that deal with witches and magic. So why did it take me so long to finally read it!? I have no idea but I'm definitely kicking myself for not reading it sooner! I love the whole aspect of the story that there's all these family secrets and the fact that Diana does not want to be a witch and choose not to participate in all these witchy things. So she run to the opposite of witchcraft which is facts, history and studying things that have evidence. She is super smart and doesn't let anything get in the way of her studies and research. She is also very determined. She has a tough time coming to terms with notions that she could possibly be the chosen one and that her magic and relationship could bring about the biggest change known to her supernatural kind. Matthew is such a great character and one of my favorite vampires of all the vampire books that I've read. He is such a gentleman and deeply rooted in old fashioned chivalry while being very fierce and protective at the same time. He is the ideal vampire. And he's smart and sexy to boot. Even all the side characters were really great! They all have their own very unique personalities and while I was reading some of the vampires, I truly believed that they had been living for over a thousand years! The characterization in A Discovery is Witches is phenomenal! I love that A Discovery of Witches is a mix of supernatural creatures instead of focusing on just one. If witches can exist why not vampires? Even though it is a pretty long read, it is richly detailed and very interesting. I give A Discovery of Witches 5 hearts for finally portraying vampires how I always imagined them to be. And can I say new book boyfriend? Most definitely!
I don't know what I was expecting when I reserved this at the local library, it was another book recommended on an NPR radio show that sounded interesting. The first thing I have to say is that it is a weighty tome, but even given that it is enthralling. It isn't your 'Twilight' type of vampire novel, it is full of literary and historical references and sinks you into a world where vampires, witches and daemons don't behave the way you expect them too. I loved the idea of famous historical characters being daemons, and not being that good at history at school I enjoyed being challenged to figure out who the references were which has led to more than a few google searches [for the less obvious ones of course ;-) ]. Some reviewers have criticised the book for jumping around - I didn't have a problem with the move from Oxford to France and then on the the USA. I also didn't have a problem with the way Diana changed as her relationship with Matthew developed, yes he is bossy but he is a centuries old vampire born in a time when men 'owned' their women so it fits with his character and I didn't see Diana as being 'needy' merely willing to defer to him in situations she felt justified it. There are definitely times in the book when she takes the lead and refuses to let him change her mind. The criticism of the book having no end is also one I felt was unjustified, it is a trilogy and it ends at a point that made sense to me - it reminded me of one of David Eddings' trilogys where the band of characters have been brought together and are poised for the next stage of their quest. Definitely off to read the next book, and am desperately hoping the 3rd volume is published very soon!
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