A Discovery of Witches: A Grown-Up Witch & Vampire Romance

BlogHer Review

This month’s BlogHer Book Club selection was A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. If you’re looking for a grown-up book about the romance of a witch and a vampire, this is a great one. What I loved most was how Harkness not only told a wonderfully imaginative story, she wove elements of history into her narrative. I enjoyed learning more about the history of alchemical science, and the way the author managed to bring real historical events into the life of a very, very old vampire.

I have to admit, though, that I really couldn’t connect with the main character, Diana (the witch). She was just so perfect. Not only is she petite and pretty (despite being constantly reminded of her somewhat frizzy hair and long nose), she is incredibly intelligent and independent. She “suffers” from a high amount of adrenaline, which makes her athletic – she runs, she does yoga, she rides horses, she rows crew, and does them all exceptionally well. On top of all of that she’s magical, but chooses not to harness her power. She was just so incredibly good, it was hard for me to find a connection with her. Matthew (the vampire) was almost as perfect as Diana, however his age and history made him much more intriguing. In fact, I’m looking forward to future books to learn more about his and his family’s history. Many times it seemed like elements of his history and family were mentioned in passing, or purposefully without detail, that I truly hope that more of his story will be addressed in later novels.

Speaking of later novels, and I hope this isn’t too much of a spoiler, but this book does end with a cliffhanger. I definitely felt a pang of remorse at the end of this book, knowing that there was really no resolution to the story. That’s one of my pet peeves, admittedly, but I’m putting that out there in case you feel the same way as me.

I realize that I’m making it sound like I didn’t enjoy this book, and that’s absolutely not true –- I did enjoy it! A family of interesting, flawed characters surrounds Diana and Matthew, counterbalancing their perfection. The politics and intrigue are suspenseful, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

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