A Discovery of Witches Meets Twilight Meets Harry Potter
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is equal parts Twilight and The Da Vinci Code with a sprinkle of Harry Potter thrown in for good measure. Diana Bishop, our protagonist is a born witch who has tried desperately to live a normal, human life -- sans magic -- after her parents are tragically murdered. But before Diana’s parents leave her as an orphan, they cast a spell to protect her from less friendly wizards and witches who might want her for her magical powers (sound familiar?)
Magical twists and turns find our heroine, whether she likes it or not.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I’ve always loved a good tale about magic and wizardry. I found some of the historical references a little too painfully detailed and I quickly skimmed through those pages which seemed to take up the bulk of the middle section of the book. But truth be told, history was always my least favorite subject.
The same things that I loved and hated about the Twilight series were things I loved and hated about this book. Diana is a reckless, bullish heroine who repeatedly insists on doing things for herself even when she is not very good at them. Annoying much? And she finds herself an extremely protective vampire lover who, you guessed it, is thoroughly enchanted by her smell but must somehow resist the taste and scent of her blood, which is extra delicious to him. Oh, and the vampire lover is a “vegetarian” who eats animals, too. I am pretty sure this wasn’t a common thing in vampire lore until Twilight came along.
Those annoyances aside, I enjoyed their love story (what romantic-at-heart doesn’t enjoy a good love story?). I found myself, on more than one occasion, craving a good glass of wine. Because they drink a lot, a lot, a lot of wine.
I expect this is the first of a series of books, because the ending was left completely open. Where you expect a resolution or battle, there is none. The last 100 pages were an intense page-turner and I enjoyed the fast pace of the story which was full of action and intrigue. I thoroughly expected the novel to finish with a raging battle of good versus evil, but it did not.
I will absolutely read the next novel in the series of A Discovery of Witches, assuming there is one, and I can only hope that the author provides closure and completes her story, something I believe she is fully capable of but has not yet delivered in this single book.