My New Literary Crush Isn't a Vampire or a Witch

BlogHer Review

I feel like a giddy teenager. In fact, while reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, I had a vivid memory of stealing my Grandma’s old romance books and reading them under the tree. They might not have been the same quality of writing as this amazing novel, but I still had that same feeling of awe and amazement as I read through the book.

And, of course, I fell in love with the main male character just as I did back in the day.

That’s saying something for me as I am not really one to enjoy fantasy fiction and have, until this point, rolled my eyes at long-living vampires with elegant manners and all types of historical knowledge. But Matthew, oh Matthew, I may have a new literary crush.

I’ve had other literary crushes, though none of them were vampires. As a misguided second-grader with a penchant for classics above my understanding, I fell in love with Romeo. What was more romantic than dying for your love? Over the years, I swooned over a few other characters -- some in my Grandma's books, but avoided all of the vampire lust of late.

Not so anymore. I’ll even take Ysabeau as a crazy mother-in-law, mainly because family loyalty like that makes me happy.

It has less to do with wanting to feel protected by a mostly indestructible vampire, and more to do with the crazy intellectual conversations that can be had with someone who has lived through most of history. And the crazy old wine. And the fact that once you’ve lived that long, you probably learn a thing or two about pleasuring your mate. Ahem. Of course, Diana discovered these things along the way as well, including the fact that she was not a “damsel in distress.” I mean, a witch doesn’t really strike me as a damsel in distress whether she is aware of how to use her powers or not.

And as the book continued, my new literary crush fluctuated between Matthew and Diana. As she continued to learn about her powers, I was cheering for her. I mean, who wouldn’t want to fly or command witchfire? Throughout the book as she stood up to any number of creatures -- daemons, powerful wizards, other witches, centuries old vampires -- I wanted to give her a high five. Such a strong woman, and she didn’t even know how strong she was.

Other characters enamored me as well. Diana’s Aunt Sarah and her partner Em were each beautiful in their own way. Matthew’s son Marcus and his tinge of rebellion made me smirk. Even the ghost of Diana’s Grandma made my heart warm.

In short, my new literary crush is not just on a vampire named Matthew. Or on a witch named Diana. Or on any one of the characters. It is on the entire book. It is on the author. I don’t have a clue how I will wait for the new book to hit in 2012. This is one of those books that, despite length, I will have to reread to satisfy my desire until the next installment.

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