A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Reviewed by Sarah Tegerdine (Peregian Beach)

Deborah Harkness’s debut novel, A Discovery of Witches an All Souls Trilogy, is a truly
spellbinding and captivating tale of magic, history, love and adventure.

In this, the first novel, we are transported to Oxford, England and Dr Diana Bishop, a historian who has renounced her family heritage of witchcraft to instead carve out a career as a scholar, a life bound to reason, science and research.

But when she calls up for a 19th-century alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782 from the Bodleian Library archives, that fragile new life is brought into question when she senses the magic thrumming through its pages, her fingertips tingling with electricity.

Diana is thrust front and centre into a world she has so desperately tried to ignore. The manuscripts discovery unleashes a magical tsunami where Witches, Daemons & Vampires all
now vying for its secrets.

She, herself must now learn faster than ever before the lessons she walked away from to prepare for whatever now lays ahead. With a forbidden love, who will she trust? Family? Vampires? Daemons? Her own kind? What secrets will be learned? What of a Prophecy?

Intelligently written, Deborah Harkness enchants us with a saga that crosses genres and even time itself. NOT to be compared with a grown-up Harry Potter or Twilight, this tale creates a new threshold style, a mesh where Historical Fiction, Fantasy and Sci-Fi exist as if made for each other.

A page-turner and if you have not read any of these genres before, perhaps its one to try, it may just thrill you…

Shamini Murugan