Review: Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)

In keeping with my 2017 Reading Goals  I have tried really really hard to read books that I already own. Which, in case you were curious, is really really hard to do as I love more than buying new books whether they be on my TBR  or not.  Good for my shelves, not for my wallet. I digress.

Anyways, so with that goal in mind, I picked up A Discovery Of Witches   on recommendation from my roommate. I know it’s been a minute since this book was published, but stay with me.


Author: Deborah Harkness

Total Page count: 579 Genre: Fantasy, YA Fiction, Paranormal    Subgenre: Romance

Summary (taken from Goodreads)

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. 

Why I chose it:  I honestly picked it up off on recommendation from my roommate.  While I will forever harbor a somewhat unhealthy love for Harry Potter, I’ve never been into the whole fantasy genre. I guess some books I’ve read like The Thousandth Floor  or The Red Queen technically qualify as fantasy, but they aren’t usually on my TBR.

What I liked: What can I say, I’m a sucker for long books. I think because I read really fast , I’ve always been drawn to lengthy  books because then I can savor them for longer. Overall, Harkness did a fantastic job of weaving her world of witchcraft, vampires, daemons into the seemingly “ordinary” world of Diana Bishop and the rest of us mere mortals. She is able to give descriptive, yet relevant background information that only ads to the story instead of clutters it, and really brings the story to life. Harkness has done her research and A Discovery of Witches has all the elements of a great YA novel: adventure, romance, and an easy to follow storyline. Her references to various historical events is on point, and she

What I didn’t like:  I was so excited about Diana Bishop. She started off as a smart, independent intellect who was against using her magic because she was #overit and didn’t like the memories it brought up. She was  actively against a relationship with vampire/professor Matthew Clairmont, and wanted nothing to do with the worlds in which they existed. Totally fair and I get that. However, once they fall in love around page 200, (this isn’t a spoiler, I promise!) Diana’s entire character shifts.  Their forbidden romance turns very Twilight-y and Diana suddenly can’t do anything without Matthew, he’s super protective, and in a hot second he is her entire world.  I don’t hate a damsel in distress, but it’s always off putting to me when a strong female does a 180 over the course of the novel.

Would I recommend it? Yes. While the romance was a little off putting, it didn’t completely take away from the story. I nerded out over all of the historical references and loved the way that the story came together.

Total Stars: 3.5

Since our shelf has the next two, I’ll probably be checking those out – I can’t ever seem to leave a series unfinished.

What are y’alls favorite fantasy novels? I’d be interested in checking out more!


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