Sunday, November 06, 2011

Perfect for Halloween

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness, an American historian, has been described as "Twilight for grown ups", and that is quite an apt description, although I would also say that there are similarities to the Harry Potter series too. I am a fan of all of them, and I did really enjoy reading this book, although I hadn't realised that it is the first in a trilogy, and I now have to wait until next June for the next installment! The story starts off in Oxford, and there are wonderful descriptions of the Bodleian Library. It focuses around a reluctant witch who is studying alchemy, and is desperately trying to avoid using her magic. However, she retrieves a book from the stacks, which is desired by daemons, vampires, and witches, and there the adventure begins. She gains a mysterious vampire protector, and as her magic struggles to reveal itself, other creatures come out of the woodwork. The story bounces from Oxford to France, from where the mysterious vampire hails, to America, where Diana, the witch comes from and where her Aunt and partner live in a wonderful house which has a personality of its own. This is a great story, really well told, and nicely researched. I think it is more of a cross between Twilight and Labyrinth, taking the illicit romance between creatures from other worlds, and linking it with the history of old France. There is a lot to enjoy in this story, and while I am disappointed that I have to wait for the next book, I am also glad that the author didn't try to cram all the adventure into the one book.