Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches
All Souls Trilogy #1
Author: Deborah Harkness
Reading Level: Adult
Genres: Fantasy | Paranormal | Witches
Released: May 26th 2015 (All Souls Trilogy Boxed Set)
Review Source: Penguin Books

Box Set Description: A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life, now available in a beautiful boxed set

With more than two million copies sold in the United States, the novels of the number one New York Times–bestselling All Souls Trilogy have landed on all the major bestseller lists, garnered rave reviews, and spellbound legions of loyal fans. Now all three novels are available in an elegantly designed boxed set that’s perfect for fans and newcomers alike.

A Discovery of Witches Book Description: Book one of the New York Times–bestselling All Souls trilogy—"a wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter and Twilight” (People)

Deborah Harkness’s sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, has brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar's depth to this riveting tale of magic and suspense. The story continues in book two, Shadow of Night, and concludes with The Book of Life.

A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. The plot is based around Doctor Diana Bishop who is doing research for a speech she is going to give about alchemical images. Diana is not just academic, she is also a non-practicing witch. She turned her back on her heritage after her parents were killed when she was just a child. While doing research in the library she comes across a book that unbeknownst to her right away is a bewitched alchemical manuscript (according to Wikipedia Alchemy is an influential tradition whose practitioners have, from antiquity, claimed it to be the precursor to profound powers).

As soon as it is discovered that Diana has found this book those in the supernatural world come to her to see how she was able to find it and in some cases more malevolent beings threaten her for the reason of getting it for themselves. The high interest is because it is thought that it is an alchemical book that may contain information vital to the survival of all four humanoid species: vampires, witches, daemons and humans.

Basically this book has a little of everything. There is mystery, magic, dark forces and even romance. I have to admit that when I first received a copy of this book I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer length of it. It is definitely not an easy-breezy quick read, and you really do have to concentrate as you read in order to keep straight all of the different characters and facts, but when you crack open the pages and start reading it is totally worth it. If I had to compare it to another series the closest one I can think of is The Mortal Instrument Series, but only because they both had a high supernatural connection with vampires, witches, daemons and humans. Other than that this plot stands strictly on its own. I think that Deborah did a really amazing job standing on her own while using character types and themes we have seen in the past. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to get lost in a world of magic and mystery. You don’t be disappointed. A 5 star book for sure!

** Stay tuned as will be sharing reviews for the rest of the series. And if you haven't already, enter the giveaway we are hosting right now (2 days left) for Deborah Harkness series plus more goodies. Click the box set below to enter.

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