Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Posted by Rebecca Brendel

Reviewed by: Andrew Zollman

What I ReadA Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Find It @YCLD:

What It's About: Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

What I Thought: Ok, plain and simple. When you pick a book to read, what are you really looking for in a story? When I picked up this book, I thought I was going to get an intellectual book on magic following simple characters in a conflict. Wow, was I wrong about this book. Although I still got the intellectual characters and the story, I got so much more from A Discovery of Witches. As a Librarian, I can appreciate the dedication of the characters to trying to find the answers to their magical and biological problems. The Story starts off as an urban fantasy fiction, and begins an evolution through genres from romance to discovery and adventure, to high fantasy and historical fiction. I appreciated the changes because as the story changed so did the characters to deal with their surroundings. Deborah Harkness does a great job of blending each genre to the story and weaving progression of the characters. I recommend this book to all teen and adult readers interested in history, science, or just want to have fun with a little magic.

Readalikes: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Or look this book up on NoveList!