A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy 1) by Deborah Harkness
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. (Goodreads)
The book starts when Diana Bishop discovers a bewitched manuscript,called Ashmole 782, in a library at Oxford. It has been lost for centuries and soon all kind of witches, daemons and vampires are trying to get it. One of them is Matthew Clairmont, a scientist who is also vampire.
Diana is from a powerful family of witches but after her parents’ death she has refused to use her powers. But when things starts to take dangerous turn she learns that she can’t ignore her heritage anymore.
Book is told from Diane’s point of view and it worked here. She’s strong, brave, intelligent and she’s historian. What’s not to like? It was interesting to see how she grew during the book, fing herself again and learning to control her powers.
Matthew is over 1000 year old vampire who takes interest in Diana. At first he is just looking for Ashmole 782 but soon finds that he can’t keep her out of his thoughts. But vampires and witches aren’t supposed to be together as they are about to find out. I liked Matthew and the chemistry between him and Diane. Sure he had this medieval thing about protecting women and stuff but I thought he was still quite adorable.
There was quite a lot talking about DNA and alchemy and I have to say that it went way over my head. But it was still interesting and it didn’t made m enjoy it any less.
And there was a finnish witch called Satu Järvinen :) That doesn’t happen often and just made me happy. Of course she was one of the bad guys but you can’t have it all, can you? She kinda leaves a lasting impression on Diane, not to mention traumas.
I really liked this book! I liked the first half book better with Matthew and Diane getting to know eachother. In later part things started to move much faster and while it was fun it didn’t feel the same.
A word of warning: the books has much detailed telling about things. How wine or food tasted and or smelled and their reactions to it. So if you’re not into that kind of thing you should be warned.
Published: Viking (2011)