Sylvia’s Monthly Book Review ~ June 22, 2016

A Discovery of Witches:

A Novel (All Souls Trilogy, Book 1)

By Deborah Harkness (Author)


A Discovery of Witchesf

A richly inventive 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.

I found ” A Discovery of Witches” to be a fresh, intelligent, rich, and detailed re-imagining of our mundane world to include four kinds of people: humans and the so-called “creatures” known as vampires, witches, and daemons, where interrelations between the “creature” species is forbidden by an ancient Covenant.

The tale has the intellectual, detective aspects as found in the DaVinci Code  It has the political and strategic aspects of a complex chess game, with creatures poised on the brink of war placing their pieces in complex plans and stratagems. It tells the story of a deep, forbidden love between an ancient vampire and a witch of great power, a love that is tested by those who would stop at nothing to preserve the ancient Covenant and possess the witch’s power.

The book has the feeling of a classic epic: rich in depth, complexity, and detail, all of which are interwoven into a larger tapestry which we can only see a small piece of in this novel.

I have now started reading book two in this series “Shadow of Night and find this book just as good if not better than “A Discovery of Witches.”

About the author

Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Scholar, novelist
Nationality American
Education Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University, University of California at Davis
Genre Fantasy, historical fiction
Notable works A Discovery of Witches
Shadow of Night
The Book of Life

About writingmama

Sylvia McGrath ~ AKA Writingmama, a freelance writer from King City, Ontario has worked in the business field for about forty years obtaining business management experience and business writing skills. She also spent several years in social work for Children’s Services. Now retired is living her childhood dream of being a writer. A few years ago Sylvia decided to take a course in freelance writing, which she really enjoyed as it was the key to follow her dreams. Since completing the course, she has worked as a professional writer, a published poet and co-authored a book with Two Maximum Life Coaches about living with chronic illness; this is titled After The Diagnosis: The Journey Beyond.” She also co-authored an E-Book of Resources for the parents of children with special needs, chronic illness and learning challenges titled “The Treasure Chest of Resources,” part-one has already been sent to the Canadian National Library Archives. Sylvia has also written several articles on chronic illness for the following online sites. • • • Besides working as a freelance writer, Sylvia still finds time for two other passions of hers; to volunteer as a literacy tutor for her local Learning Centre, and assist in facilitating of workshops on disability awareness. Her main mission for the future is to write a series of books for young adults and children who have learning challenges and suffer chronic illness. At present she is also the co-owner and columnist for “Professor Owl’s Newsletter” which is published on-line monthly for children.
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