A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Rating 7.5/10
There were moments reading this book that I thought it was brilliant.

A Discovery Of Witches is the first book in a trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I’d heard about it, heck, even managed to bag myself a promotional t-shirt emblazoned with the words ’Witch, Daemon, Vampire, Human?’ just as it was about to be released, so of course, I was itching to get started with this book.

We follow Diana, American scholar and reluctant Witch, studying all things alchemical at Oxford. Here she meets and falls in love with Matthew, 1,500 year old Vampire and sworn enemy. Diana’s life is turned upside down the day she comes into contact with an ancient manuscript which holds the secrets to the very existence of supernatural creatures.

There were moments reading this book that I thought it was brilliant. The description of the Bodleian library and it’s old manuscripts were extremely detailed, but then in other parts of the book I found simply hilarious. Vampire yoga anyone? The good outweighed the bad however and I’m glad I stuck with it, and at 608 pages, this isn’t a quick read but I’m interested to see where the story goes and look forward to the next instalment.

As a final note, the book is bound to draw similarities to the Twilight saga, it’s a given, and for that reason, I’m sure anyone that loves Edward and Bella will adore this too.

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A Discovery of Witches reader reviews

from United Kingdom


I wasn't particularly impressed with the story, world, characters or relationships in this book. I felt the story was too slow too build up, focusing on small uninteresting details of the character's life. The magic in this world is not really explained in any detail, and doesn't seem particularly interesting. The relationship between the 2 main characters seem a bit superficial. Diana falls in love with Matthew way too quickly, suddenly going with him to his home to meet his mum, and other very ridiculous development in their relationship. It reminds me a lot of Twilight, so if you like one you might like the other.

from London


I also felt this was a mix of fun storytelling and either random episodes like the vampire yoga, or pointless waffle and irritating detail. The constant mentions of how much the main character likes tea, and how she likes to drink tea etc. is way over the top and the beginning takes forever to get going. I was 200 pages in and what had actually happened wasn't enough to drag it out for that long. Overall it was engaging and easy to read but editing a hundred pages off of the beginning would have improved it, as would having a less Mills and Boon / Fifty Shades relationship between the two main characters.

from Rugby


Excellent, took a while to get into but enjoyed it and couldn't put it down. I can't wait for next novel.

7.1/10 from 4 reviews

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