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Monday, 27 February 2012

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Wow. I was expecting another supernatural story; a predictable plot after how many I have read. This novel surprised me! And that is saying something.

In this novel there are witches, vampires and daemons – the perfect combination for any supernatural lover. The main character, Diana Bishop, is a witch but tries to ignore her magic and be as human as possible. I did ask myself, if there was a possibility of having magic who wouldn’t use it? Trust me; she has a good reason not to… Until she meets a vampire called Matthew Clairmont. He is perfect, if not slightly annoying in his superiority.

The best part of this novel is the maturity. It isn’t some teenage fantasy romance of falling in love with a vampire, but a story of how love can conquer all in a semi-realistic (besides all the supernatural stuff) world. This is definitely to attract the adult readers who like this topic, yet at 17-years-old I enjoyed it as well. You will love the heroines and be happy for them, but this isn’t a novel where you will go crazy in love with Matthew.

I couldn’t put this down! What captured me was the detail. I am rubbish at history and science, yet after reading this I wanted to read all about Darwin’s Species of Origin and start studying alchemy. I also wanted to visit Oxford and go to France. If you have the money and time to do all of this, then it could be an expensive book!

The emotions created were so strong, I felt like putting on the witchwater with Diana at some points. I felt like I could connect to her, because I know that I would have her reaction to some of the situations. This connection to the main character and the fact that it was a topic I love – romance, the supernatural and all that geeky stuff – made the book really enjoyable for me. I honestly couldn’t close the book! My eyes stayed glued to the pages way beyond when they should have been in another dream world.

Although I couldn’t put it down, the book is very long and it took me a while to read. When I thought it would come to some conclusion, there was a lot left yet to read. This is refreshing after modern books where the stories are quite straightforward (although still exciting!). This book is not possible to read in one go, even if you constantly read for most of the day, and I did try! Due to this length, I did get a bit impatient at one point, feeling like it was dragging on. It was still a good read during that impatient moment, but I just wanted to flick forward a couple of pages.

Deborah made the background story run so deep through the novel, and a mystery was built in correlation to the romance and Diana finding out about her powers. Part of this mystery was uncovered in the book, but towards the end the author built up preparations for the sequel. After finishing on a cliff-hanger, it’s sad that we will have to wait until July for the second part, because I feel that all the details and pieces from this novel is going to be important in the second.

Overall, this is a brilliant read if you like the topic. Definitely give this book a try. If you hate waiting for the sequel to a book, you might want to save the read until closer to the second release date.


  1. this novel was brilliant, i loved the history, the aunt's house and most of all the characters. Great review, i cannot wait for book two and of course the movies!

    1. Thank you! Just thinking about the book, I want to visit the places, learn alchemy, or even go rowing! It is such a great novel. 10th July, I can't wait! Movies? Wow, I didn't know about them! Thank you =) going to stalk google for all the gossip on them!