A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches. Finished 6-28-14, rating 3.75/5, fantasy, pub.2011
Unabridged audio narrated by Jennifer Ikeda. 24 hours.
First in a trilogy
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.
I am not a vampire or witch lover. I occasionally get intrigued by the hype and check out a book with these characters (Twilight) but haven’t really fallen in love with any. I’m not sure what made me pick this big book up at the library sale (value by page count?) but I did and I also checked out the Playaway so most of my reading of this one was really listening. It was good. I might listen to the next one if it’s the same narrator because I liked her performance.
Some things I liked
- the concept of a lost book containing the origins of creatures (witches, vampires, daemons)
- the easy relationship between Diana and Matthew
- when Diana was trying to figure out what to make a vampire for a romantic dinner – totally made me giggle
- the setting of Oxford and France
- all of the well-known historical people who Matthew had known in his 1.500 years of existence
- Diana. I really liked Diana and her aunts
A few things I didn’t care for
- the story really slowed once in Wisconsin at the Bishop house
- too much dialogue and the addition of so many characters in the last third of the book made it peter out for me a bit at the end
I am really curious about the time-walking coming up for Diana and Matthew and I would like to know what happens. Harkness has made a fun world and I would like to see how it all pans out.
I’ve heard not so great things about the second one, but maybe she redeems the trilogy with the third? Anyone read them?