Google+ If You Like Books: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

If you like: books * witches *charm

Do you enjoy books about witches and vampires, but find yourself bored with predictable, clich├ęd stories? If so, this is the book for you. A Discovery of Witches is almost like an intellectual version of the movie Underworld—but wholly more engaging.

A Discovery of Witches begins in Oxford, where Diana is researching ancient alchemy texts. She is a witch from an prominent family who has undertaken a life without magic. Diana is a smart, strong woman. After she stumbles upon her destiny, she spends the rest of the story fighting to preserve her sense of self, even as it is rattled by powerful forces.

There is a rich and layered backstory in A Discovery of Witches. As with many supernatural tales, current events are impacted by decisions made hundreds and thousands of years earlier. No character is without secrets, but it doesn’t feel like a plot device. Even though there is a lot of magic in the story, it isn’t relied upon to move things forward. Diana’s resistance, and inability, to use her powers humanizes her, and makes her relatable.

If you are looking for the perfect book to spend a snowy weekend with while sitting by the fire drinking tea, you have found it in A Discovery of Witches.

Harkness, Deborah. A Discovery of Witches. New York: Viking, 2011.

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