Title: A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
Series: All Souls Trilogy
Date Originally Started: February 22, 2013
Date Originally Finished: March 2, 2013
Format: Paperback from my own shelf
Diana Bishop is a witch not that she actually uses her powers. In fact, since her parents’ horrific deaths when she was seven, she made a promise to herself that she wouldn’t use her magic. Ever. But like with most promises, she breaks it and only uses her magic occasionally. However, when she’s not trying to not use her magic, she is a professor of alchemy and is doing research on manuscripts in the Oxford Library. One of the manuscripts she calls, Ashmole 782, isn’t just an ordinary manuscript. It’s bewitched, and with a simple press of her hand to the cover, Diana undoes the spell to read inside.
This causes a chain reaction. Apparently, this manuscript hasn’t been seen in almost a century and now Diana is being stalked by vampires, witches, and daemons that are trying to have her recall the book so that way that species can regain control of it and its secrets. The first to approach her is a vampire named Matthew, who instantly makes a connection with the witch. Much to the disdain of the other witches, daemons, and vampires, their bond grows and now it’s not only a matter of getting the book from Diana, but trying to keep her to her own kind. And some will go to any lengths to do so.
So I read this book originally last year and I really loved it. The beginning was a little boring and bland, but as the story progresses – especially the introduction of Matthew – the story got really interesting. By the time I read this book, I was a little vampired out, they were showing up everywhere, so when I read that Matthew was a vampire, I sort of groaned for a minute. Not another vampire/human love story. But it wasn’t, and I think that’s what I really liked about it. Yes, Matthew and Diana fall in love, even though they both know better to do so and they both fight against it, but there’s more to it than just love. It’s protection. It’s trying to unravel the mystery of not only witches, vampires, and daemons, but also what gives Diana her power? And what can she truly do?
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Diana is a strong female lead, who fights against Matthew’s protection of her, and can actually stand up to him. Matthew is a brooding vampire with the heart of a lion and the mind of a scientist. Matthew’s ‘mother’ is an interesting character who for some reason I thought hated Diana – maybe I’m confusing book 1 with book 2? – but she gives her a lot of respect. I’m curious to see what happens in book 2, especially with the whole ‘time traveling’ thing.
Bookshelf worthy? Bought my copy used.