Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Oh the summer days! I love them so much, especially here in the UK, where sunshine is so rare the rest of the year. Also, with all the summer reading guides I have been able to refer to and my own TBR list for the summer, I can’t wait to compile my Summer reading list for this year and share with you guys ๐Ÿ™‚

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So, coming back to my thoughts on this book. This book was referred to me by another Author (Jina S.Bazzar) during my interview questions with her and was also recommended on the YA book club on Goodreads. I was lucky to find a copy of this in our local library and started reading it earlier this month. Now, the only other book I have read in the Vampire/fantasy genre is the Twilight series, which I read after I watched the movies. And another one being Jina’s own book (Heir of Ashes– you can click on this link to read my review for this too). It had been a while since I had read the Twilight series. I have not read the Vampire Diary series, but I was a huge fan of the Netflix series a few years back and was totally on team Damon! hahah. So, it was quite a refreshing change to read another such book from the same genre.

This is the first book in a trilogy – The All Souls Trilogy (and I hear it is soon going to be made into a TV series too!! awesome), and is about the coming together of a Vampire and a Witch and some big secret that only they can unearth and that everyone else is after. The book is almost 700 pages long! But I think the author needed it to be that long to be able to put in all the history and details and build up the story line and introduce all the characters in one book. Don’t be afraid of the length of the book, since the story line is really interesting and it is a page turner.

I don’t want to give in any of the story details or any spoilers, but it isn’t any surprise to know that Diana and Mathew are the central characters and the overall story revolves around them and their love for each other and this big secret. Almost within the first few chapters, you find out that they are going to be a couple. In the beginning of the book, I really liked Diana’s character- strong, independent, outdoorsy and someone who does not want to use her powers to achieve what she can with her intellect and hard work. But I started feeling like there were too many sudden and inexplicable changes in her character as she starts her romance with Mathew, later on in the story. I could not understand how, someone who was so practical and level headed in the beginning of the book, gets so attached to someone so quickly, that she is willing to take on old world values and risk everything she cares about, including her career, to be with him. Maybe I am a cynic when it comes to romantic love, or I’m too old to understand this chemistry of love or lust at first sight ๐Ÿ™‚ The saving grace in Diana’s character in the first book for me was that at least she learns to fight and stay strong even in the face of fear and death. Mathew on the other hand, the strong, beautiful, charismatic Vampire, somehow held no appeal to me. In fact, I was really annoyed with him throughout the book. He seemed to be really fickle and so secretive and domineering and commanding- all the things I dislike in a partner, to be frank. Yeah, he is really protective of Diana, but it is also a little stifling to me:) So their romance to me, felt a little forced to me. Or didn’t do much for me.

But, what I was really bowled over and impressed with was the amount of research and information that author has put in this book. There is so much history in this book, it is amazing! Of course, with history, one has to liberty to add some fiction as well, especially if you are using it to write a fictional story. And yet, there is so much in depth discussion on Darwin’s book on Origin of species, on alchemy and the properties of substances, on the history of Christianity, about biology and DNA study/strands, about music and Latin, about wine and food, that it blows your mind away! And her descriptions of some of the places, Mathew’s home at Sept Tours, his college at All Souls, oh my gosh, I just can’t wait to see how the Directors of the show re-create all this! All the scenes with Diana discovering her witch powers are also breath taking! I also found the supporting characters really endearing- especially Emily and Ysabeau and Marcus.

I wonder if this series will have a love triangle later on as well? Well, I won’t know until I move on to the next book- but that will have to wait until summer is over I think:) So, have you read the books in this series? What were your thoughts on the book? If you haven’t read the book and are looking for a Twilight or Vampire Diaries fix, then I think this will pass quite well ๐Ÿ™‚

4 thoughts on “Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

  1. Jina Bazzar says:

    I missed this one, Prachi. I’m glad you read it. I didn’t compare it to twilight, but then there was a time back when i read a lot of vampire books. i’m not sure if i’d compare this one with any other. there’s a unique quality to it, like you said, all the history and resources the author used was incredible. i think you’ll enjoy book two much more.

    Liked by 1 person

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