Dec 072011

A Discovery of Witches (All-Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness 
Source: Library and RAK from Hannah The Irish Banana Review
Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Author’s website 

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. 

The world of creatures created in this book was quite intricate. I loved the detail in history and development that each of the three paranormals species had: vampire, witch and demon. These details really helped make the characters pop from the page.

The intricateness of the story did have a downside: slowness. I found this an incredibly slow read. I started off listening to the audiobook version, but switched to book version halfway through. I loved the narration of the audiobook. The accents were incredible, and the reading was rich and inviting. But the story moved so slowly, that I didn’t feel like it moved at all until I switched to reading.

Can I just address the ending for a moment? For a book that was so long, the story never ended, just stopped. Ugh. I hate non-endings. This was especially horrible since if felt like the story was just beginning to pick up speed.

  3 Responses to “A Discovery of Witches”

  1. This is the first in a trilogy. I loved this book. While I agree the beginning was painfully slow, as a reader of series and trilogies..this is often typical (especially true on non-ya genres), as the author lays the background. I imagine that book 2 and 3 will move at a much faster pace.

  2. @Kimba88 I agree. It took me days to get through the first seventy pages of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but after that, I was indisputably addicted.

  3. I've had this on my bookshelf for a while. The size of it puts me off, to be honest. I'm sorry to see that you found it quite mediocre. I'll look forward to seeing what I think of it, though! (I'm a new follower, so hi!)

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