Title: A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
Series: All Souls Trilogy #1
Publication date: UK - 29 Sep 2011 | US - 27 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback - 720 pages
It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.
A world of witches, daemons and vampires.
A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future.
Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it.
I think anybody who picks this book up first notices just how big it really is. My first thought was to how long it was going to take me to read it and then that it had better be good considering how long it will take me to read it. It didn't disappoint me I'm glad to say.
I loved how much detail was put into this book. There was so much mention of history, alchemy and science that it's sometimes painfully obvious how much research has gone into it. I know quite a few people who hate writing this detailed but I'm a big fan. I love painting a picture of settings and events in my mind as the story develops - I think it's a true testament to writing skills. Deborah Harkness certainly has those skills as every chapter, paragraph and line in this book leaves hardly anything to the imagination - it's all laid out in front of you.
I did find that I would have liked to have connected with the two main characters, Diana and Matthew, a little more than I did. I thought they were great at first. There weren't many other characters involved for the majority of the book, or at least until the second half. It was mainly about Diana and Matthew which I enjoyed. After the halfway point though, there were quite a few more characters introduced and while I did really like the other characters involved, it seemed to take a lot of focus away from Diana and Matthew to the point of sometimes completely forgetting about them.
The plot was great. It was a big difference to what I usually read in that there wasn't immediately any danger or solutions involved. Everything happens relatively slowly so that when something does happen, it's a big shock. The characters come to realise what's happening at a realistic pace when they start to get clues and ideas from other characters. I felt as though I was figuring it out at the same pace as them which I thoroughly enjoyed. More than anything though, I have so many questions that I really want answered in the second book.
All in all, I did enjoy this book since I do want to find out what happens in the next one as soon as possible. I would definitely recommend it to anybody fans of paranormal romances.
My rating: 7/10
All Souls Trilogy:
- A Discovery of Witches
- Shadow of Night