Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Grade: B+
A Discovery of Witches starts off promisingly - the academic Dr. Bishop is the last descendent from a famous line of Bishop witches (One of her Bishop ancestors was the first witch executed in the Salem witch trials).
However, after her parents died when she was a child, Dr. Bishop refused to use or study magic anymore, and instead chose History as her field of specialization. She stumbles across an ancient tome during some research - one that was lost for over a hundred years. Soon, the other creatures - Daemons, Witches and Vampires, start stalking her, hoping to discover how Dr. Bishop found this magickal manuscript.

The story is really fresh and interesting, but had several unnecessary digressions. I enjoyed all the scenes where we meet Dr. Diana Bishop's family, her kooky house in the States, the ghosts. Good world building, and a pretty awesome ending!

What's not to Like, You ask?:
*sigh* A fantastic opportunity to talk about an academic approach to magic analysis, rules was laid aside in favor of some soppy romance with a brooding vampire (Matthew). Harkness goes into a very tired vampire storyline, and I had a tough time swallowing how this strong woman was saying lines like: "When I pulled the door open, Matthew stood outside looking like the prince in a fairy tale, tall and straight." 

Good stuff: Plenty of info on famous historical books, and 15th-18th century goings on. I'm a nerd, so I found this cool, but ended up a little irked that Matthew seemed to have met everyone while accumulating a dozen degrees.
View all my reviews
Pin It!


  1. I hate when characters think or say something that doesn't seem in their character. But this book sounds interesting if only for the magic and historical aspects. Good, honest review!

  2. Jade -Despite all the hiccups, it was definitely interesting, and I am looking forward to the rest of the series :)

  3. Despite the minor qualms, it sounds like an interesting read. I haven't read too many magic oriented books outside of the Harry Potter series, but I think I'd find the references to historical books really interesting. I'll have to check it out.

  4. I am excited to read this one - it is at my library waiting for me to pick it up!

  5. Loved the review and you should try The Map of Time - Palma: it's due this month and WOW plenty of historical references to great writers of late 19th century. EG: H G Wells, Bram Stoker, Henry James, etc. I got goose bumps at the cameo appearances of these people. Impressive and 600 plus page translation from original spanish. WOW seriously amazing.

    You have to read The Emerald Atlas : Children fantasy. WOW!

    Adding A Discovery of Witches now to my TBR list. :)


Thank you for the comment! I will always reply to each comment, and if you leave a link, comment on your site as well.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular Posts