Review and Giveaway – A Discovery of Witches

Posted 11 January, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Book Review, Featured, Giveaways, Kristen, Uncategorized / 49 Comments


A Discovery of Witches

by Deborah Harkness (goodreads, websitetwitter)
Book I in All Souls Trilogy
Genre: SciFi/Fantasy
Published February 8th 2011 by Viking adult
Copy procured from my local library

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.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.


I picked this book up on a whim.  Basically, I was at the library with a pre-schooler who decided to run laps around each aisle, and on my way out of the Sci-fi section (I was picking up my latest Anita Blake p0rn), I was caught first by the author’s name, Deborah Harkness.  A la Jake Harkness from Torchwood (please, for the love of Pete, watch the UK version and not the crappy Showtime ones!) who is probably one of hottest characters EVER (according to me, of course). I briefly read the synopsis and saw the words: witches, vampires, mystery, and romance. And thought, “Hey, what the heck?” Grabbed my wily pre-schooler and made it out of there before she could knock a bookshelf or two over.

This book was really fun! Just a warning, it’s long and very detailed. For some readers you will love it! Others might be a bit turned off by the descriptions and over-explaining.  However, I really enjoyed it! I did catch myself skimming over some architectural and genetics stuff (yes, it’s DETAILED), but the story I really enjoyed.

Diana is a reluctant witch who finds herself in the middle of a battlefield after opening an old manuscript that technically she shouldn’t have been able to open, and all hell breaks loose.  She meets a hunky vamp that she also shouldn’t be having feelings for.  I really enjoyed the romance, even if it was kind of awkward and slow in parts.  This wasn’t a YA book, but it definitely isn’t a steamy romance type novel. So maybe, it is more realistic? Now that’s fun to read too!

I was totally sold on the world that the author created, loved her vampires and witches.  A touch of Twilight/Anita Blake/mythological vampire with some Harry Potterish witches with a new world of daemons to round it out.  (I won’t spoil the daemon explanation, which was my favorite, by far!)  The growth of both Diana and Matthew is very interesting and I’d love to spend a night in both of their homes with their families!

The mystery of the manuscript Diana pulled, Ashmole 782, and the GINORMOUS cliffhanger at the end has me on an eager waitlist for the next book.  I’m totally in!

And now, on to an awesome giveaway! Miss Pushy was able to get a SIGNED copy of A Discovery of Witches.  Simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget! We will pick a winner in ONE WEEK and announce it on our blog.  Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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49 Responses to “Review and Giveaway – A Discovery of Witches”

  1. Jessica Austen

    I read this book last summer and fell in love! I told everyone I know to read it and I cannot wait for the next book to come out in July!
    I think Harkness did an amazing job of creating a full and beautiful world. The second book should be interesting, just the cliffhanger is blowing my mind.

    Reply »

    Kristenxox 1/11/2012

    I totally bought into the world – just loved it!

    Reply »

  2. Greta at PW

    OMG! I wants!! WHen does the contest start because the rafflecopter says it's not open yet

    Reply »

    Kristenxox 1/11/2012

    working on it! dangit!

    Reply »

    Greta at PW 1/11/2012

    It's working nows! THANKIES!

    Reply »

    Greta at PW 1/11/2012

    CRUD!! I tried to leave my shipping address but the button disappeared before I had a chance. I'm sure you guys know it but if I win just let me know if you don't have it 🙂

    Kristenxox 1/11/2012

    yep – we got it!

    Greta at PW 1/11/2012

    Cool Bean Burritos! I didn't want you guys to think I was just pushing buttons 😉 The interweb gremlins didn't seem to want me to enter that part 😉

  3. Confession: The whole time I read this book I pictured darling Jack Harness as Matthew Clairmont. Because YUM. He just fits, don't you think?
    My recent post “You’ve Got Bruises on your WHAT?!” – The Honeymoon, Part Three

    Reply »

    Kristenxox 1/11/2012

    Ahhhhhh!!!! I was going to say that too! But I didn't want to spoil someone's image of Matthew! it was a mix of Jack and Mitchell from the UK version of Being Human for me! YUM YUM YUM!!!!!!!!

    Reply »

  4. Heidi

    I read this last year when it first came out and I really enjoyed it, though I can understand why some readers complained at times it does move slowly and I despised the cliff hanger. Your review reminded me that I needed to go chec and see when book 2 was releasing!
    My recent post Rainy Day Ramblings Bargain Book Bin

    Reply »

  5. Kelli Spear

    I LOVED this book! Truly was a favorite last year! I missed the signing when Deborah was in my area, so I'd truly ADORE this!! 🙂

    Reply »

  6. I adore ADOW!! I completely found it by fluke, I was just wandering around the bookstore, and I grabbed it to read it while I was playing on the WiFi. I thought the cover was interesting, and I grabbed it. I thought it was amazing, and then I just had to buy it!

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  7. Kristin

    I've been on the fence about this one. When I first heard about it I really wanted to read it, then I read some other stuff and decided, eh, maybe not. Now you've got me wanting to read it again.

    Like Library Lady, there was no box for me to leave my address in.

    Reply »

  8. Lori Strongin

    hahaha! I'm not alone–I totally thought of Jack HOTness when I first saw this book!

    While not the best book I've read, I did enjoy this one. I think it was the love story that I didn't connect with–I would have been happy if they'd just stayed friends. But I'll still be eagerly awaiting that sequel!

    Ditto on not finding the box for the mailing address?

    Thanks for the giveaway op!


    My recent post Welcome!

    Reply »

    Kristenxox 1/13/2012

    Ha ha! Oh Capt Jack, how I love you and your Hotness!

    I'm hoping the love story grows. I'm sure the 2nd book will have them break up and get back together again. 🙂

    Reply »

  9. Caitlin

    This Bookshelf sounds awesome. It literyhas everything going on in this story. First you got witches who are cool with their powers. Then you add in the other paranormals going after an ancient lost book. Mystery, history, romance, paranormals. Wow yes I definitely want to read this book.

    Btw there is no space to put a mailing address .

    Reply »

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