A Discovery of Witches

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness 

From what I’ve read about this series a lot of people absolutely love it and a lot of people really DO NOT!! Interestingly, I fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. I actually enjoy the epic and expansive nature of the narrative. I found it interesting when the author took the story back in time to more fully flesh-out and understand the history of the characters and the relationship between witches, vampires, daemons, and humans.

However, there were some aspects of the story that I did not appreciate. I found it extremely difficult to like the main character and her love interest. The main character, Diana, is a witch/academic/historian who shuns her witch abilities until she doesn’t and her love interest, Matthew, is an ancient vampire who is overbearing and has a bad temper. Neither character is particularly likable and their relationship comes across as one sided (Matthew tells Diana what to do and feel and she complies) and Diana lacks agency not only in her relationship with him but also in her relationships with all of the other characters in the story. To be fair, I get the feeling that since this is a trilogy, by the end Diana will find her voice and strength but honestly, I doubt I’ll read any more of this series so I guess I’ll never know for sure. 

I wanted to like this book more than I did as it seemed to hit on all of my reading interests: history, female protagonists, spooky lore, ancient texts, etc. but unfortunately, the uninteresting and prosaic nature of the main characters (and their love story) made this book hard to get through. I gave this book a 4/5 stars for all of the things I did like but I don’t see myself picking up the next two books in the series. 

Read on my friends!



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