A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness

This book has rekindled my love affair with reading.

It set aflame a spark that until now has been burning low and steady. I am engulfed in literature love.

It has received a range of different reviews since its release in 2011. Some critics claiming that it’s too long and slow; some comparing it to Harry Potter and Twilight. I stand strong on the side of complete adoration for the stylistic writing, the detailing that is imperative to this genre which relies heavily on sensory description and scenery and to the historical, social, cultural and scientific component….mixed in with the mythical, supernatural realm.

The first in a series that has recently hit the screen in England, I will unabashedly state that it is by far superior to any other paranormal story, taking the historical-fantasy novel to new realms. Although released many years ago, I wasn’t aware of it until my partner in crime advised me that it was right up my alley and the one series that too changed her passion for reading. (Plus, in lieu of the fact that it has been adapted for the small screen, we wanted to tap into this beautiful story.)

Skeptical at first (because I’m not a fantasy/paranormal enthusiast and although appreciated the Twilight Series it still didn’t make my heart skip a beat until the final instalment), I was immediately drawn to the writing and to this witch who resonates on a human level like no other. (Plus, as Jenn pointed out, I found my clone. As part historian and Old English Literature enthusiast, I was right alongside her own passion. Alchemy has always been something I’ve been intrigued by, so for me this book became a learning ground as well as an incredible journey between witches, vampires and demons I thoroughly enjoyed. Plus, I have an affinity for witches, as Jenn does for Vampires.)

There is a very unique love story with multiple twists. There is a fluid movement from old worlds to present worlds to new worlds. There is good and evil and something in between. There is friendship, loyalty and immense betrayal. There is trust and mistrust, confusion and clarity and a beautiful unveiling of truths that slowly comes undone.

The ending leaves you with the excitement for a new journey ahead that you know will be fraught with even more challenges since very little has been resolved, but alliances have been made and lines have been drawn.

It is the coming together of a semi-fulfilled destiny for all of the characters involved. And the love between this beautiful vampire and his maturing witch? Well let’s just say the chemistry is poetic and it’s majestic and just so ooohhhhla-la.

I am on the second book and in heaven here too because I get to go back in time and literally be where I have always dreamed of being. Can’t wait to share my thoughts and feelings on this one soon.

As for A Discovery of Witches….get this book. Fall is around the corner for many of us. Curl up by the fire, cozy up under your favourite blanket with a nice glass of wine or tea and read. Get lost in the details. Hear the sounds. Smell the odours she describes. Taste the wines. Feel the magic.

It’s like no other.


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