A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (spoiler-free)

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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’s the only creature who can break its spell.

Published: February 2011 by Viking Penguin

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches! It’s been on my tbr list for ages and I’m glad I finally picked it up.

First off, I wanted to discuss how well-written this book is. Seriously, from the pace to the descriptions and the historical and scientific knowledge…it was incredible.

Our heroine, Diana Bishop, is a historian of alchemy and the last in a long line of powerful witches. Having lost her parents when she was young, she gave up using her magic and put her heritage behind her.

Matthew is a 1500 year old vampire who has been searching centuries for Ashmole 782… until he finds it with none other than Diana. In his attempt to retrieve it back from her, they both begin to grow closer, despite the disapproval of others. Creatures soon discover that Diana has the powerful Ashmole 782 in her possession and she and Matthew must do whatever it takes to keep the book from getting into the wrong hands.

I actually enjoyed the story more than I thought! It had a great mix of supernatural-historical and romance genres and the storyline was not overly complicated. I mean, yes, there were a few moments throughout the book that got on my nerves, like when Matthew and Diana would talk about wine and how it tastes, smells etc for a very long period of time or when some parts of the book would go on for so long that I’d started to lose interest. But, other than that, it was a good read and I’m crossing my fingers that the sequel is just as good!abbie




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