Review: A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Blurb: (Taken from Goodreads)

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
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.

My Blurb:

Diana Bishop is running away from magic. Or at least, she thinks she is. Magic though will not be letting her go anytime soon. Without knowing it, she called a most coveted book in magical history and now, she is being sucked in to the world of magic, whether she wants to or not.

Many creatures are drawn to Diana now and the first one to show himself was Matthew Clairmont, a vampire. He wants the book but he finds himself protecting Diana. Diana, on the other hand, is the modern female and insisted that she can take care of herself until one day, she realised that to survive she needed an ally… a protector…

Diana lives in a world full of creatures that are segregated to their own kind and regulated by a covenant that is being enforced by the Congregation. What would they think of a witch & vampire combo? What is more important to them, the book or to keep this segregation of creatures?

This is one of those books that grabbed me right from the beginning, completely absorbed me into its one and only world, and did not let go til the end. Hell, not even at the end cuz that’s how much I love it!

All right, I have to admit that for some people it might be kinda slow but I actually enjoyed this slow wordiness (did you notice that it’s a bit thicker than the average sized book?). I felt that I was savoring the book real slow too – like one of those slow motion part in the movie and I never wanted it to end. End it had to, of course, but I’m glad the next instalment is nearly here! I’m actually kinda glad I didn’t read this book last year, even though I got it last year, cuz it feels great to be able to jump into the next book almost straight away!

It was just soooo rich in its descriptions of everything. All your senses are practically invaded especially when it comes to smell! From the smell of things to food to wine to other beings, I found this to be really lovely and very atmospheric. I was able to just drown in this world which became my world for a few days 

The smell of the library always lifted my spirits – that peculiar combinations of old stone, dust, woodworm and paper made properly from rags. Sun streamed through the windows on the staircase landings, illuminating the dust motes flying through the air and shining bars of light on the ancient walls. There the sun highlighted the curling announcements for last term’s lecture series. New posters had yet to go up, but it would only be a matter of days before the floodgates opened and a wave of undergraduates arrived to disrupt the city’s tranquillity.

The romance was… slow but oh, so very…sweet! This might not appeal for some of you but I really really loved it. I love the suspense and the wait for the first **swoon** moment and the next and so on. It was seriously romantic!
My first swoon moment:

“You’re welcome.” He tucked my impossible piece of hair back behind my ear, fingers lingering on my cheek. “Come to dinner tomorrow,” he said softly. “My turn to cook. Can I pick you up here at half past seven?”
My heart leaped. Say no, I told myself sternly in spite of its sudden jump.
“I’d love to,” came out instead.
The vampire pressed his cold lips first to one cheek, then the other. “Ma vaillante fille,” he whispered into my ear. The dizzying, alluring smell of him filled my nose.

Right now, though, I’m totally conflicted! I mean:

The gorgeous blond blue-eyed Viking, Eric Northman – Hubba Hubba!

description OR description

The handsome dark French Knight, Matthew Clairmont – **Swoon**!

What say you?

View all my reviews

10 thoughts on “Review: A Discovery of Witches

  1. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting

    Wonderful review! I’ve added this one to my Amazon wishlist! I love the excerpt you’ve posted, and despite my blog title, I’m a sucker for a beautiful, quiet read that slowly draws you in. It’s lovely reading something that invites you to linger rather than forcing you to rush.

    1. Tien Post author

      Thanks, Stephanie 🙂

      Yay for adding it to your wishlist! The second book is coming out in a couple of weeks. I managed to score it on netgalley and it’s on my read & review list next week (can’t wait :D)

  2. Pingback: WW Read-A-Thon – Finale « Tien's Blurb

  3. Ellie Warren (@patchworkbunny)

    I think I like the bad boy aspect of Eric more but Matthew would be more practical 😉 I’m really looking forward to bok 2, just have to get a few others out the way and another day of having nothing else to do and I’m there!

    1. Tien Post author

      Hhhmm… I think you mean… Eric’s good for a fling but Matthew is for lifelong commitment, if not eternity 😉

  4. Pingback: Review: Shadow of Night « Tien's Blurb

  5. KateB

    Hmm… this is the motivation I need to take my copy off the bookshelves and actually read it! But considering I’m a huge Eric Northman fan I’m not sure anyone will be able to replace him in my affections 😛


Would love to hear your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.