A Discovery of Witches Review

A few weeks ago I decided to get serious about a writing a novel I have had in my head for a couple of years now. Well, not a whole book, just some characters and some a Dan Brown like ideas on how vampires came to be. Ever since I was suckered into reading Twilight and other vamprire books, I have toyed with the idea of writing a historical vampire book. Here is what I had so far:
The story would center on a medieval history professor who is very happy teaching night courses in Northern California until she finds herself having heart issues. The college decides to bring in another instructor to take over some of her duties. This new professor is noted for seeming to know everything about medieval history and only wants to teach at night. Why? Because he and his wife and brother are vampires of course! The novel would include the “secret” of the Knights Templers’ power and wealth and what really brought them down. Of course the protagonist and the brother would fall in love and he would save her from her fate. Sounds silly right? Well I thought I would explore this idea over the summer that is until I read Debora Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches. From the book:

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.
Diana meets a vampire named Matthew Clairmont, a fellow professor at Oxford. He is not only a vampire/ professor he is a knight! Are all the good ideas taken?

Harkness is a professor of history who uses her knowledge to weave a great story that spans hundreds of years. She is as comfortable writing a modern scene as she is taking her readers back to medieval France.

Diana and Matthew are drawn to each other over a manuscript and her ability to open it. The manuscript was thought to be long lost and is sought after by witches, demons and vampires alike. Each group wants it to learn the secret to their origin (yet another one of my ideas taken by Harkness) and will do just about anything to posses it. Diana and Matthew’s forbidden love starts a war among the “others” and they must travel back in time to save their families lives as well as find out the secrets of the manuscript. A Discovery of Witches is the first in a series. The second will be about their travel to 1590 England.
I enjoyed many aspects of this long novel, yet there were things that reminded me of Twilight. Again with vampires and possible children? Though, like Twilight, don’t expect sex in this first book. We will have to wait for them to consummate their love. Like Edward, Matthew wants to wait, while Diana is in a hurry to know him better. For those who loved Twilight I recommend A Discovery of Witches as it is a much better read, for those who have never read Twilight (count yourselves lucky) Matthew may well turn out to be your Edward.

So dear Readers, do I keep developing my story or do I roll my eyes and sigh. I may have started mine too late.

Author: sarij

I'm a writer, lifelong bibliophile ,and researcher. I hold a Bachelors in Humanities & History and a Master's in Humanities. When I'm not reading or talking about Shakespeare or history, you can usually find me in the garden discussing science or politics with my cat.

5 thoughts on “A Discovery of Witches Review”

  1. Don't you hate when that happens? I know you've got more great books in you waiting to come out. Next time ones does START WRITING. LOLThanks for the review, I had my eye on this book but wasn't sure exactly what it was. I liked the name.


  2. Diane,Now you tell me LOL. The book was recommended to be because I love good historical fiction. My friends made no mention of Twilight,even though they know how I feel about it. I went to GoodReads and read some reviews. I am glad I am not the only one who feels this is a grownup version of Meyers' book.


  3. Senora,I liked the name too and because Harkness is a history professor I just had to try it. It is not as good as my friends suggested. You know a book is in trouble when one of the main characters has to explain the plot midway through. If you liked Twilight or other vampire love stories I highly recommend it. If not, skip it.


  4. It seems everyone but me has read this 🙂 It sounds like a great read, if not terribly literary which I don't mind at all. And I think in truth, all the ideas are taken, but your version will be different from everyone else's so I say still go for it!


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