Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy), A

Deborah E. 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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-07-30

Reading this book was like enjoying an amazing chocolate liquor. I don't know what it is about books that begin in English reading libraries that just seems to promise an amazing read. The book is put together so beautifully, since this is the first book a lot of information from the nature of wolf packs to DNA and all of the information is delivered in way that doesn't seem to stop the book and say, "This is information you have to learn." It flows in the book.

There are books that wrap us completely. I found myself talking about the book in ways that I haven't talked about a book in years. I feel that everyone I know should have this book and read it, because otherwise I feel as though they're missing something in the book life. I loved this book and the trilogy.

Reviewed: 2016-06-14
4.5 stars

The book starts when Diana Bishop discovers a bewitched manuscript,called Ashmole 782, in a library at Oxford. It has been lost for centuries and soon all kind of witches, daemons and vampires are trying to get it. One of them is Matthew Clairmont, a scientist who is also vampire.
Diana is from a powerful family of witches but after her parents’ death she has refused to use her powers. But when things starts to take dangerous turn she learns that she can’t ignore her heritage anymore.

Book is told from Diane’s point of view and it worked here. She’s strong, brave, intelligent and she’s historian. What’s not to like? It was interesting to see how she grew during the book, fing herself again and learning to control her powers.

Matthew is over 1000 year old vampire who takes interest in Diana. At first he is just looking for Ashmole 782 but soon finds that he can’t keep her out of his thoughts. But vampires and witches aren’t supposed to be together as they are about to find out. I liked Matthew and the chemistry between him and Diane. Sure he had this medieval thing about protecting women and stuff but I thought he was still quite adorable.

There was quite a lot talking about DNA and alchemy and I have to say that it went way over my head. But it was still interesting and it didn’t made m enjoy it any less.

And there was a finnish witch called Satu Järvinen :) That doesn’t happen often and just made me happy. Of course she was one of the bad guys but you can’t have it all, can you? She kinda leaves a lasting impression on Diane, not to mention traumas.

I really liked this book! I liked the first half book better with Matthew and Diane getting to know eachother. In later part things started to move much faster and while it was fun it didn’t feel the same.

A word of warning: the books has much detailed telling about things. How wine or food tasted and or smelled and their reactions to it. So if you’re not into that kind of thing you should be warned.
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