A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness — book review

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Headline ‘14.99

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

Deborah Harkness’s first novel begins an epic trilogy of witches, vampires and daemons living mostly unnoticed amongst humans in the present day. As the story unfolds, it tells of a forbidden love, magic spells, a conspiracy and the shadowy organisation trying to keep star crossed lovers apart.

Recently picked up by Warner Brothers to be developed as a movie, A Discovery of Witches, grabbed me from the moment I opened it and kept me engrossed until the cliffhanger ending. Based mainly around Oxford University and the city itself, the rich narrative that Harkness weaves really does bring the place and characters to life, fully immersing the reader into the tale.

The main protagonist, Dr Diana Bishop, is a witch, who represses her powers, and an historian. Diana is studying various alchemical texts in the Bodleian Library, going about her day-to-day non-magical business, until one particular manuscript grabs the attention of various vampires, daemons and witches that are all desperate to get hold of it. She soon meets and falls in love with a vampire named Matthew, and begins a journey to understand her own powers, the history of the three magical species and the mysterious manuscript.

Despite the rather daunting size of the book (594 pages), it is exceptionally easy to read and highly enjoyable. Deborah Harkness has set herself the unenviable task of having to live up to an excellent first novel, but I believe that it is one that she is more than up to. I will keep my eyes firmly peeled for her second and third novels ‘ Deborah Harkness is definitely an author to watch closely over the coming years.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Headline ‘14.99

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

Deborah Harkness’s first novel begins an epic trilogy of witches, vampires and daemons living mostly unnoticed amongst humans in the present day. As the story unfolds, it tells of a forbidden love, magic spells, a conspiracy and the shadowy organisation trying to keep star crossed lovers apart.

Recently picked up by Warner Brothers to be developed as a movie, A Discovery of Witches, grabbed me from the moment I opened it and kept me engrossed until the cliffhanger ending. Based mainly around Oxford University and the city itself, the rich narrative that Harkness weaves really does bring the place and characters to life, fully immersing the reader into the tale.

The main protagonist, Dr Diana Bishop, is a witch, who represses her powers, and an historian. Diana is studying various alchemical texts in the Bodleian Library, going about her day-to-day non-magical business, until one particular manuscript grabs the attention of various vampires, daemons and witches that are all desperate to get hold of it. She soon meets and falls in love with a vampire named Matthew, and begins a journey to understand her own powers, the history of the three magical species and the mysterious manuscript.

Despite the rather daunting size of the book (594 pages), it is exceptionally easy to read and highly enjoyable. Deborah Harkness has set herself the unenviable task of having to live up to an excellent first novel, but I believe that it is one that she is more than up to. I will keep my eyes firmly peeled for her second and third novels ‘ Deborah Harkness is definitely an author to watch closely over the coming years.