A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

June 20, 2013

Diana Bishop is a middle aged librarian/historian studying alchemy.  She has spent her entire life pretending not to be a witch, despite a long line of renown witches in the Bishop family.  While studying at Oxford, Diana accidentally uncovers a long lost manuscript that holds some sort of secret desired by all those in the supernatural community (witches, daemons, and vampires).  Not knowing its value, Diana sends it back into the stacks only to soon find the Oxford library packed with supernatural creatures wanting to get their hands on it.  Diana notices one vampire in particular, Matthew Claremont, who has begun to consistently lurk around her area of study.  After a few more intimate encounters (yoga and a couple of breakfast and dinner dates), Diana finds that Matthew is the only one she can trust to help her discover the secrets of the ancient manuscript.  

My Thoughts:
This book has been on my radar for quite some time.  I finally picked it up a few weeks ago and was not disappointed.  I was instantly drawn in by the characters and setting.  Diana is a woman who has tried desperately to avoid her magical abilities, but they just seem to seep out of her.  She is also a historian studying at a famous library in Oxford, which makes the story all the more interesting.  As I read this book, I often thought of it as an adult version of Harry Potter (and when I say adult, I mean it has adult characters not that it is X-rated).   The fantastical world in this novel is beautifully crafted and left me pining for the next book in the series.  

Note: A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy. The second in the series, Shadow of Night, has recently been released.  

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