- Picked this up for $2.99 as a recent promotion
Summary from GoodReads:
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.
In A Discovery of Witches, much like the blurb states, I was reminded of my days of reading Anne Rice. I remembered when the idea of vampires chilled me to the bone, made me feel a little bit like I needed to watch over my shoulder, and provided me with a touch of forbidden romance. Then came the young adult vampire craze. Girls went gaga over the idea of an Edward, screaming loudly for a man to come and dominate their lives and their sexuality much like Edward did Bella’s, and my fascination with vampires spiraled down into a fierce explosion of hate.
But A Discovery of Witches managed to rekindle a little bit of that old love that remained. This book provided me with a little bit of that forbidden thrill, and honestly I was a bit ashamed of myself for liking it as much as I did. I appreciated Diana’s boldness and desire to protect herself as much as I resented Michael’s desire to protect her and cut her off from the world.
I think that the warring emotions I had while reading A Discovery of Witches speaks mostly as a testament to my own growth. I was a teenager when I discovered Anne Rice and I wanted nothing more than to find a strong man and be protected. Now, as a self-serving adult woman, that same idea is a bit more distasteful to me. But still.. there’s that little bit of longing and so I enjoy myself in fiction and laugh about that enjoyment when I put the book down.
A Discovery of Witches is not a fast, quick read – but it reads quickly. It absorbed me completely and I loved nearly every moment of it (the mooning and constant professions of love that overtook the book about halfway through I could have done without). I’m happy I picked this up when the publisher was promoting it, and I’m even more thrilled to have in my possession a copy of the next book in the series because, frankly, I’m not ready to leave Diana and Michael behind for a while yet.
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