All Souls Trilogy #1: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Posted on December 27, 2014


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


A 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.


The blurb fooled me. And the mention of an ancient manuscript in an Oxford library.

If only the romance part wasn’t so sappy, the witch-heroine not such a clinging, clumsy, wet-blanket, the vampire-hero not such a colorless, bland stereotype, I would have enjoyed the unfolding of the age-old struggle between the paranormal forces of this world. Unfortunately, I have to like the characters or find them interesting to like a book. And I don’t. So two yawns.

In fairness, my usually non-paranormal romance reader friends loved this book. They thought I would love this book. Books are strange like that, some love ’em; some don’t.