A Discovery of Witches Review
After I finished watching The Bold Type on Hulu, I was in need of a new TV series. Thankfully, we live in the creepy world of ad behavioral targeting and TV show trailers started popping up on my Instagram feed. One of these trailers was for AMC's book to TV adaptation of A Discovery of Witches. Because I'm a Teresa Palmer fan, and an even bigger fan of Matthew Goode (swoon) I decided to check it out.
With great actors and a great story line, I was instantly hooked. All too soon I had blown through the series and was in need of a new one once again. Instead of rotting my brain with more screen time I went to the library in my best Hermione Granger fashion and checked out the novel.
When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched manuscript , an unwelcome intrusion of magic enters her ordinary life. Though she is a witch, she’s unable to keep the magic at bay. Soon daemons and vampires become interested in her discovery of the book, most of all, vampire Matthew Clairmont. But there’s an undeniable connection between Matthew and Diana, one that threatens the peace between creatures and humans. Read a full summary here.
This is the first of three novels, and Deborah Harkness gave her All Souls Trilogy all the makings of a great fantasy series: witches and spells, daemons and vampires, and a sought after book of secrets. What truly made me enjoy it is that it's a fantasy novel with a historical fiction twist. I love the whimsical feel of being transported to another time, and Harkness has captured the language and feel of Victorian literature and translated it to modern day. If the historical fiction genre isn't your style, you may want to steer clear of this series.
While it was very well written, it was far too long. At almost 600 pages, I felt that there was quite a bit that could have been left out. There were multiple ideas that I feel Harkness never explained to completion, then the end of the book the plot leapt forward. There is room for character development, but it is a trilogy so that’s to be expected. I was fully invested in each character’s story and I hope that continues through the next two books. The plot left on a cliffhanger, so truly anything can happen in the next book!
If historical fiction/vampire romance isn’t your cup of tea, I would suggest watching the series. You can stream it online on AMC, Sundance Now, or BBC.
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