The best way to describe A Discovery of Witches is it is like The Historian, with a Twilight-like romance and a dash of Harry Potter thrown in for good measure. Although I was able to find some comparisons to other books, this book is truly like no other. Deborah Harkness, a professor and now acclaimed author, introduces her readers to a vivid world full of witches, vampires and daemons and a storyline that revolves around one very special witch, Diana Bishop. Diana is a direct descendant from Bridget Bishop, the first person to be executed for witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. Although Diana comes from a very powerful magical background on both her mother's and father's sides, she chooses to instead forgo her magical talents and make a name for herself in academia. This works very well for her until one day in Oxford's Bodleian Library when she requests a text that for over 150 years has been thought lost, Ashmole 782. She immediately recognizes the text is enchanted and quickly does her needed research and returns the book. Unfortunately for Diana, this text is coveted by the entire paranormal community and her world from that point on is thrown into chaos. In the midst of everything that is going on she is befriended by an unlikely ally, a 1500-year-old vampire named Matthew Clairmont. The two of them find themselves thrown into a world full of science, magic and history as Diana tries to come to terms with her destiny and the love that has blossomed between both her and Matthew.
This is a beautiful love story as well as an excellently researched piece of historical fiction. It is has quickly became one of my favorite novels and I am excited to begin reading the next installment in this suspenseful trilogy, Shadow of Night.
Recommended by Shannon Jackson