Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

witchesIt’s been a while between reviews. Why is that, you may ask? (Or, maybe you didn’t notice.)

It’s because of this book. Long and dense and mostly awesome, A Discovery of Witches is my newest obsession. The first in a trilogy (the third of which was recently released), Discovery brings us to modern-day England, where Diana Bishop is mired down in her studies of alchemy. An ancient text reveals itself to her, when it has eluded so many others, which attracts all manner of undesirables to the library. We’re talking vamps and daemons, and a witch or two. Oh yeah. Diana is a witch. A witch in denial. She’s shunned her witchy ancestry and tried to not let her magical abilities seep into her otherwise boring, academic life. Until that day, when she slips and uses a bit of magic, only to be busted by super hottie vampire Matthew deClermont, who also happens to be a prof at the prestigious university.

Well, you can probably guess what happens next. I mean, it’s the same old love story. Vamp meets witch. Vamp falls for witch. Vamp and witch are forbidden by all the supes to have any romantic involvement. They do anyway and are exiled from supe world. Or something like that. There’s more to it, but that’s enough of a summary if you’re interested.

My thoughts? I was 100% into the book for about 3/4 of it. And then, toward the end, these new characters came in, and I just wasn’t that interested in them or their story. I’m sure they will be important in the next book, but to me, they came out of nowhere and literally showed up at the door. It seemed like a cop out to me. Matthew’s history is probably the most interesting, as his hundreds of years afforded him the opportunity to interact with some of the world’s most famous figures and some of the most brilliant minds throughout the centuries. I can’t wait to learn more about this as we go along, and it seems as if some, if not all, of book two will take place in the past.

Highly recommend if you’re into the whole supernatural fiction genre. Which I am!


  1. I devoured Discovery. Loved it. Can’t say I feel the same way about Shadow of the Night (book 2). I’ve tried reading it four times now and still cannot get into it. I read on another blog that it gets better at the end and creates excitement for book 3, but not sure I will ever make it far enough to feel that way.

    If you make it through book 2, you’ll have to let me know.

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