A Discovery of Witches is the most enthralling novel I have read for a long while. It is definitely a story to lose yourself in and besides the magic/fantasy you would expect from this genre, it shares an insightful journey of the characters accepting who they are and becoming what that is.
Diana Bishop and Matthew Clermont’s story is much more than a meeting of witch and vampire and the resulting emotions and chaos that follows. It is also a meeting of the history of magic with the history of science. Harkness uses her expertise from these disciplines and weaves them into a spellbinding read. As an avid family history researcher I applaud Harkness crafting DNA into the story – the DNA which is quite a vital piece of information for our lead character to help her come to terms with her own journey. I love the fact that Matthew has been researching and trying to discover if humans, witches, vampires and daemons all came from the same ‘mother’ with mutations and adaptations in their genes.
The characters, relationships and the world they live in are utterly believable. We start in modern day Oxford but surrounded by history with Diana living a modern day ‘single’ life. When the story moves to France we meet Matthew’s family and are introduced to more history and many secrets. On Diana’s home turf in Madison we get to know Diana’s family and are introduced to the Bishop home which is quirky and hosts a gamut of ghosts.
With such a hefty tome you might understandably think there would be times when you would be bored – I didn’t find this at all. The way the writing flows leads you on from the foundation to each pivotal point. The timing of the next turn comes at exactly the right time to keep your imagination fired and you are led seamlessly on.
A Discovery of Witches is a debut novel and the first of a trilogy. I will eagerly await the second movement in this series so that I can again immerse myself in this world!