A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy Romance

8667848Reading Level: Medium/Hard

Pages: 688

Similar Novels: Soulless by Gail Carriger, Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz,

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley.


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness starts off with Diana Bishop – a young scholar, residing in Oxford as she studies old manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. Although she seems to lead a normal life, consisting of adamant tea-consumption and yoga, Diana is, in fact, a witch. However, despite her heritage, she refuses to acknowledge her magic abilities due to a traumatic childhood experience. On a regular day of reading manuscripts, Diana stumbles upon a particularly enigmatic manuscript. Shortly after, she has a run-in with vampire Matthew Clairmont, who she immediately distrusts because of the vampire reputation. However, as the supernatural world stirs due to her findings, she finds that she has no other choice but to turn to the man who seems to know more than he lets on – Matthew.  Soon enough, Matthew and Diana are forced across the globe, hunted because of the magical manuscript. A manuscript that she, alone, can unlock.

Opinion: A Discovery of Witches is a good book, with twists and turns, ups and downs, and a brilliant plot. Some things were a little mediocre – the characters were sometimes inhumanly peculiar, so much that the story became unrealistic, and it sometimes feels as if Harkness did everything she could to get a few more pages – but all that was overshadowed by Harkness’ wonderful writing style. Her writing captivated you, even when things in the story got uncomfortable. As well as the fact that the plot (although slightly superfluous in length) was quite superb. This is one of those books that always keeps you on your toes. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes Contemporary Fantasy, because, although not life-changing, it’s definitely read-worthy. The reason why I bought this novel was all in the chilling first three lines:

“It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.”


This is my new format for book reviews – like it? Who else has read A Discovery of Witches? Liked it? Hated it? Let me know in the comment section below!