Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


Diana Bishop is a witch and a history professor, working on her research in Bodleian Library in Oxford. On one of her many days in the library, she finds an old alchemical manuscript. The magic that she was trying so badly to avoid for all of her life suddenly gets stronger, the mysterious book Ashmole 782 seems bewitched and hides some very old secrets. Diana returns the book to the library but soon discovers that some dangerous creatures; a 1000-year-old but very charming vampire Matthew Clairmont, a powerful Peter Knox, and countless daemons are following her. Diana understands she cannot ignore the witchcraft anymore; she teams up with Matthew to uncover the secrets of Ashmole 782 and the mystery of her own powers.

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. Albert Einstein

This book was ok. What I really liked is the atmosphere and the setting. The old library in Oxford, all of these very old and rare books, ancient castles, cozy cafes, the characters who are passionate about reading, history and old mysteries. The magic, of course, the magical creatures, witches, vampires, impossible love… The other thing I really enjoyed happened in the last chapters; the get together at the aunts’ house. It was a hilarious witch/vampire/daemon pajama party on Halloween. I was happy something finally happens in the book because, oh my, it was very slow! Seriously, nothing happened in the book! About 90% of the book Diana begged Matthew to have sex, and he was like “Not, now. It’s not the right time. All of the magical creatures are trying to kill us for various reasons. Let’s wait for the right moment. Please leave me alone!” He’s right, Diana! Focus! That’s about all of the action and drama happened in the book. And it’s a very long book, so imagine my struggle to finish it. I did finish it eventually thanks to the overall magical vibe of the novel, picturing Matthew as Matthew Goode and some of the supporting characters like Hamish and Aunt Sarah’s house. I think if the book was shorter, I mean much shorter, I would’ve enjoyed it more. But it was dragging on and on and on and on…

That is the main reason I don’t want to read the second and the third books. The thought that in the next 1200 pages nothing going to happen kills me. I’ll just watch the series.

Rating: 3/5


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