This is a book to devour. With a love of mystery, history, fantasy (witches and vampires), and drinking tea, I was caught up immediately in this story, which left me wanting to read the next two parts of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy as soon as I had finished it.
Harkness weaves a complex tale about Diana Bishop, a witch who has refused to use her abilities since the brutal murder of her magically talented parents. Thrusting herself into her research at Oxford, Diana discovers a historic text, Ashmole 782. With that discovery, she sets loose ripples of power that affect witches, vampires, and demons around the world, setting them all on the lookout for her and the document. She knows that the text is important, but has no idea how or why.
Among those looking for her is the brilliant, centuries-old vampire, Matthew Clairmont. His elegant and sophisticated mannerisms balance out his feral, brutal tendencies, which come from years of fighting in wars and his inherent vampire nature. Using their wit and resources, Diana and Matthew seek to discover the importance of Ashmole 782 and stay alive.
The historical facts that Harkness employs in A Discovery of Witches add a rich level of detail, making the story even more compelling for people who love historical fiction. Tea lovers will find a kindred spirit in Diana and her love of a good cuppa. The only issue I had with reading this book was the desire to drink tea every time Diana did, which was a lot. Readers can continue to follow Diana’s adventures in the second volume of the trilogy, Shadow of Night.
- Lindsay Ly