Sunday, May 19, 2013

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of A Discovery of Witches

Deborah Harkness is an American scholar, novelist and wine enthusiast, best known as a historian and the author of New York Times best selling novel A Discovery of Witches and its sequel Shadow of Night.

A Discovery of Witches, book #1 of THE LOST SOULS TRILOGY
by Deborah Harkness

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.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Guest Reviewer, Cheryl W:

I was lucky enough to win one of the advanced reader copy versions of Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches, to be released in 02/2011. When I completed the first chapter and woke up the next morning I decided that I had to write my thoughts for the review as they occurred. One of the things that crossed my mind when I first heard about this book was wow. This book is written by a scholar. I researched the author via her university home page because I was curious about her background. When I finished the first chapter I was still in the wow stage and my thoughts were; this is a bridge between scholars and great urban fantasy writers. I love when I get to have both! I wish as a techie scholar I could combine my two loves of computers and urban fantasy. This book was everything I hoped it would be!

I read this slowly despite how I typically devour most books. With some books I slow down intentionally because I realize that I do not want it to end quickly. A Discovery of Witches is that type of book. It is the type of book you develop a relationship with as you read it. I think that there will be people that will fall in love with it as they read it just as I did. I hope that even those that feel that it may not be for them still find something that they can take from the book. It is very intricate. The story is well developed, extremely well written and the characters are very well developed. But, it was not a quick read for me because, I did not want it go fast. For me it is a book that you spend time with and do not forget the places it takes you as the characters are being drawn. The history it discusses is thought-provoking. One of the things I liked was how Diana developed with regard to her powers and her family. Politics were a strong part of the story. With regard to the politics one of the most intriguing things I found was who is involved in the politics. I am trying to keep this review spoiler free. But, as the blurb on the back states we have multiple beings involved in this book and they have a very long history with each other. One of the things that make this book so amazing is the historical backdrop for all of the creatures. I found myself looking forward to learning more about all of the beings. I really look forward to more written by Deb Harkness. I had a hard time deciding how to end my review but it does not spoil anything to shout; “I can’t wait to see what happens next”!

A Discovery of Witches

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