A Discovery of Witches is Charmed Meets Twilight

BlogHer Review

When I first received Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches I was afraid it was going to be another "vampire" book, capitalizing on the success of the Twilight series. I was skeptical. It was with that skepticism that I opened the novel and began reading.

While the book opens with the heroine Diana Bishop stumbling upon a rare manuscript that forever changes her life, I found the initial pages a bit slow. Diana Bishop, an alchemy scholar and a witch with a pedigreed ancestry, has turned her back on witchcraft, her gift, but the mysterious Ashmole 782 awakens under her touch and sets in motion an epic tale.

As news of Diana's discovery spread, witches, daemons, and vampires converge on the Oxford Library where the text has been found. It is the vampire Matthew Clairmont that stirs the mystical community atwitter. And when the unholy alliance between Mattew and Diana begins to strengthen and turns to love, it threatens to bring down a millenniums old covenant. Along the way we meet family and friends, mothers, aunts, brothers, children all witches, vampires and daemons.

Somewhere around the two hundred page mark the book really starts to pick up and become a real page turner. The relationship between Matthew and Diana drives the story forward as we learn about Matthew's past as Diana does. Likewise we watch Diana's powers emerge and grow stronger as Diana discovers the truth about her parents death and her well hidden talents.

The text of A Discovery of Witches is rich with history and literary references (and I would expect nothing less from a history professor) that add to the depth and fullness of the story. This richness separates Witches from other vampire literature.

When I reached the end of the book, felt let down, being that this is the first in a trilogy, I was left a frustrated reader wondering how I am going to wait until 2012 to find out what happens to Matthew and Diana.

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