An epic, richly inventive, historically sweeping, magical romance. Includes exclusive bonus material.
When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had been wanting to read this book for a while, and had it on my Wish List since last year. I finally managed to get it as an audio book, and loved it!
Diana Bishop is a fantastic character! She is a historian, and a witch. I liked this character very much! She is extremely independent and feisty, but, when she discovers an alchemical manuscript that has been missing, she suddenly finds herself thrust into a dangerous world of witches, daemons and vampires, who will stop at nothing to possess the book.
Matthew Clairmont is also a fascinating character. He is a geneticist, who also happens to be a vampire. He is an enigmatic person. I was unsure whether I liked him at first, but as the story unfolded, he won me over! I loved his intensity and his determination.
This story is told from mostly Diana's point of view, but Matthew also has his say, which I found extremely interesting, as it showed their thoughts and feelings. I usually struggle to get into a story when it's on audio book, but I had no such issues with this book. I was swept into the story by the narrator, who did an excellent job giving each character their own voice and accent. I became so involved with the story that I was loathe to stop listening! I am fairly new at listening to audio books and can find my attention getting diverted by outside interruptions. However, this book had my complete attention. The author has created characters and scenic locations that, with the help of the narrator, came alive! I have never been to Oxford, but the description of the Bodleian Library had me salivating! All those books! I could die happy there! There are some interesting characters that I enjoyed meeting, especially Mart (cook/housekeeper) (not sure of the correct spelling, as I had no reference bar the narrators) and Isabelle (Matthew's mother). They are completely different character types, but they compliment each other; You can feel the respect they have for each other. The vampires in this story are far from being all sparkly, but I think it's the witches who are far more dangerous! The story has several twists and more magic than you can wave a wand at! There is a dark scene that sent a shiver up my spine! I am seriously considering getting this book in print, so that I can read it when I am not able to use my audio book app. I am most definitely looking forward to reading/listening to the next book in the series, because the ending left me wanting more!
Deborah Harkness has created a world where humans, witches, daemons and vampires all live (not in peace, but tolerance?) together. This author has now found another fan! I love her writing style, which is fast paced, and the story flowed beautifully!
I highly recommend this book if you love your stories to be full of witches, daemons and vampires or if you love paranormal romance or urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton
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