A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness Review

Hello Readers,

A Discovery of Witches the first book in the All Souls Trilogy. This book was recommended to me a couple of years ago by one of the lovely ladies at Waterstones. I was drawn in from the start at the time I hadn’t long finished rereading the Twilight Saga, the house of night books and The Southern Vampire Mysteries (The True Blood) so it was a brilliant recommendation.

Why did I decide to reread A Discovery of Witches well a couple of months ago I heard that A Discovery of Witches is going to be television series that’s is set to premiere in the UK on Sky One on 14 September 2018. I am so excited. I thought I would reread the series here is my review of book one. I have already started rereading Shadow of Night (book two)

I will try to keep this spoiler free for people who want to watch the series or will watch the series then read the books.

The protagonist is a witch called Diana. Diana is the last in a long line of powerful witches.  However, having lost her parents when she was young turned her away from her heritage and her magic. We follow Diana, now an American scholar and reluctant Witch, studying all things alchemical at Oxford. Here she meets and falls in love with Matthew, 1,500-year-old Vampire and sworn enemy. While researching alchemical manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Diana’s life is turned upside down when she finds an old book covered in magic; she returns the book to the library archives, but witches, vampires, and daemons are all hunting it, as the book holds the secrets to the very existence of supernatural creatures.

I thought this book is well-written Deborah has a beautiful way with words, and her descriptions are eloquent and lovely the description of the Bodleian library and its old manuscripts were extremely detailed. There was a seamless flow to this book that was exquisite within the books as it creates an incredibly detailed world, with interesting creatures, complex politics all mixed in with elements of the mundane, ordinary world. I love how the alchemy fits into the novel and adds a sense of reality when paired with the whole book I think it’s a sign of a well-written world and plot. Nothing was choppy or out of place; the rhythm, pacing, and phrases used flowed so effortlessly that I was never distracted by the writing or the language. Deborah handles the magic well, including the separation of the supernatural races, and even the 'science' of their behaviours. There are terror and romance, adventure and personal revelations. It's complicated, and it doesn't resolve, leading directly into the next book, which shows it is clearly a well-planned story.

The characters were strong, relatable and interesting.  Even the minor characters have depth, as do the relationships between characters. We meet minor characters, with their own stories, personalities, creature attributes, and motivations. Knowing that this is the first in a trilogy, you get a proficient understanding of the main and supporting characters with the full knowledge that a deeper relationship will evolve as the story continues to unfold.

This book was fantastic and I highly recommend it! It's clearly written to follow on in the second and third book.  I honestly can't wait to see how the Tv show turns out it seems to be a good time for book to tv or film at the minute. With both The kissing booth and To All the Boys I've Loved Before doing so well, it is an exciting time to be a bookworm who loves a good series binge or moviethon.

L x