A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

I bought this book so long ago, but it sat on my shelf or years and I never opened it. However, when I saw it was made into a new TV show last year I decided I would read it before I watched the show and it’s still taken me this long to get around to it.

Historian Diana is descended from Bishop witches; an old family of witches descended famous for their part in the Salem witch trials, however, she has refused to use her powers since her parents died when she was young. Her Aunt Sarah and partner have encouraged her to explore her strength but she decided she did not want to be a witch.

However, when Diana calls an ancient manuscript to help with her research, she unknowingly opens it using her powers. The unlocking of the ‘missing’ manuscript calls all witches, vampires and demons to the library in Oxford where Diana is working and she meets Matthew Clairmont; an old vampire, and in true predictable fashion a romance blooms as he adopts the role of her protector.

The book does leave you guessing though, is Matthew really in love with Diana or is he like all of the other ‘creatures’ looking to get close to the manuscript? I also really liked that Harkness manages to create a world where creatures could easily be living alongside us afraid to reveal their identity. There were some points where I felt a little overwhelmed with characters and who said and did what, but I got through it and enjoyed it. Although I must say, for £6 I’m not jumping to buy the next one; might check the local library though. I do feel like I can watch the TV show now that I’ve read the first book though!

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