A Discovery of Witches Book Review – Deborah Harkness


I love history. My fiancé says its nerdy but I love reading books with history in them too. A discovery of witches fulfills this love of history and paranormal reading perfectly. Even though some of it is too smart for my mind to grasp without rereading a few lines it doesn’t take away from the feel of the book. This isn’t surprising coming from a professor of history at USC. Harkness has sprinkled historical facts around paranormal storylines making a fun and challenging read. It is a long read over 600 pages so a lot happens throughout the book that you must keep up with and remember to follow along. Many names in the book both the characters and the people they talk about will be a little confusing. You do not need to know much history but even if you remember the big names from your simple high school history class you should be able to follow along nicely. 

The only problem I had with the reading was the beginning. The book seems to open skipping the point of getting to know your lead character Diana. Most books start with reminiscing of their pasts to explain who that are and what to expect from their characters. But here Harkness starts you off already in the middle of Diana’s struggles with and the dangers of witchcraft without gently gliding you into it. Makes you feel like you skipped a couple of chapters at first. She introduces Diana as you progress through the book giving you more of her characteristics and history as you go just like you were meeting her in real life. (slowly, no one in real life gives you a history lesson, reading off family names and professions to get to know them. Well not anymore anyways) that’s one of unique styles this book has going for it. Another is the twist and turns. soon Harkness has you snared in Diana and Matthew and the mysteries surrounding them and you can’t stop reading. It’s definitely a book where your family will be on a fend for themselves kind of dinner! 

Another unique attribute that I am grateful for is the way Harkness can meticulously make her descriptions of the furniture, backgrounds and characters without dragging them out forever. If you read many longer novels such as this some others can go on forever with these details. Harkness is detailed but to the point setting the layout or backdrops perfectly without extra needless words! I love that!

If you are ready to be enthralled to a paranormal mystery with so much elegant wine and history to make you dizzy, this is your next book! You will love it! Enjoy!

My Rating: 4Stars

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.


Published By: Viking Penguin

Publication Date: February 2011

Date Read: 8/5/2016

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy

Source: Purchased

Format: Nook Ebook

Pages: 622





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