Welcome to the Friday Goodreads! Each week(ish) I will post about a book I’ve read recently. Don’t worry, there wont be too much plot involved, mostly just my thoughts and reactions to the work.
A Discovery of Witches written by Deborah Harkness.
For the first Friday Goodreads I picked one of my two favorite books that I read in 2012. And really, I read this book for two main reasons: a coworker was completely obsessed with the sequel and recommend that I read them both and because it was already on my list.
A Discovery of Witches is the story Diana Bishop, world renounced academic and the last of the famous Bishop line of witches. But Diana is no ordinary witch. Blaming magic for the gruesome deaths of her parents, Diana refused to learn magic and has almost no skill in it. While doing research in Oxford University’s Bodleian library Diana unwittingly uncovers a mystical manuscript which sets in motion all manner of events that she, nor anyone, could have forseen. Her ally in this is Matthew Clairmont, celebrated geneticist and vampire (although he doesn’t broadcast that he’s a vampire).
I loved pretty much everything about this book. I’ve always loved history, have loved historical fiction. This book appealed to me on a historical fiction level. Diana is one of my most favorite protagonists. This very well could be because my genre of choice recently has been young adult novels which are more fast-paced and less character driven than ADOW. The fact that she’s a historian studying alchemical manuscripts helps me like her even more. And the story behind her parents is also intriguing. Diana confounds me though. She’s been a loner for most of her life and thinks she can take on the world. She can’t, of course because she has no magical training and never seems to be pursued by good ol’ fashion humans. She is much braver than she should be, or much more foolish than is really necessary. For that reason she makes me crazy. She is so hellbent and stubborn that she fights against anyone willing to help her. Now, Matthew. I have this picture of Matthew in my head as a Richard Armitage-kind of man. (Seriously, Richard Armitage would make THE BEST Matthew Clairmont, EVER). Matthew is attractive, suave, wealthy to boot but arrogant and unwilling to compromise when he thinks he’s right. Which was most of the time. But he is also fiercely loyal and kind and takes great care of Diana which makes me love him. Yes, there might be a slight bias on my part since my own love is named Matthew but I digress.
See?? Richard Armitage was BORN to play Matthew Clairmont. It’s so obvious!
I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. I could almost feel the fog on my face when Diana is rowing in the mist. I relaxed along with her and Matthew during yoga and felt frightful when scary bad things were happening. (I can’t say what scary bad things were happening; that would give the story away!) I thought Harkness did a brilliant job bringing to life the characters and settings. And the way she keeps you wanting more was completely killer! At least I decided to read ADOW after the sequel Shadow of Night had been released. Now if Ms. Harkness could just finish up the third book!! Stay tuned for my review of Shadow of Night, coming soon to a blog near you.