Review – A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
By: Deborah Harkness
Release Date: February 8th, 2011
Publisher: Penguin
Series: All Souls Trilogy

I’ve seen this book around ever since it was published and I was always tempted by the title and the cover. However I was…hesitant. And I don’t know why I was. My aunt Deb read this series as soon as each book came out and was obsessed, constantly telling me I needed to pick it up. Still, I didn’t do it and still I’m not sure why. This isn’t some glowing review of how wrong I was to resist but the first book in the trilogy was, as a matter of fact, enjoyable.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library Diana Bishop, a descendant of witches, accidentally calls a manuscript to her, the magic responding to her own but it is this act that serves as a catalyst for the rest of the book. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries. And she’s also discovered that she hasn’t buried her magic as deeply as she thought she had.

Diana meets Matthew Clairmont but he isn’t some genius geneticist as many believe. Well, he is, but he is also a vampire. In Harkness’ world the two species are not meant to mix so, of course, the inevitable happens. They fall in love. And while this trope bothers me as it is so constant in the world I did look beyond it to the rest of the story because I was drawn in by the characters (both main and side characters) as well as trying to understand the motives and the world better. Call me a sucker if you want, at least I enjoyed another book.

I’ll admit that parts of this felt a bit too much like Twilight while other parts felt like they were trying to have the Anne Rice feel. However, Harkness did a great job in creating an interesting plot and a great cast of characters and I can’t fault her effort. I also did enjoy all the alchemical, historical and mythological references made throughout this which leads me to believe Harkness went on a deep dive to give us this story. So I respect her dedication on that front as well.

Another note to add: a show was made of this book and it can be found on Amazon Prime as well as AMC and Sundance network.

About author

Brittney Soban

Brittney is a writer, reader and general lover of all things that end up printed on a page. With a few published poems and a lot of unpublished stories and novels she spends her days doing a nine to five job while wishing she was home working on the worlds she loves to create. As “punishment”, her and her brothers were banned from watching television for a week, leading to Brittney deciding that the free books at the library were better than TV and, in a very Matilda fashion, she took home loads of books every day and has never looked back. A reader of all types of literature, she will read practically anything put in front of her as long as something within it, no matter how small, sparks her interest. Give her high fantasy, science fiction, mystery, it doesn’t matter, but her love does lie within the fantasy and YA genres. A series junkie on top of everything else, she picks and chooses when to begin a series based on how many standalone books also await her attention in her to be read pile. Once she starts a series she will read every installment available back to back until she finishes a series or is forced to wait for the next publication. Called a book dragon by her boyfriend, the term is fitting as she owns more books than anything else and is quite sure her obituary will state she died under an avalanche of books. She truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

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