A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Rated B for characters that bewitch you, bewilder you and make you melt into a massive puddle from swooning so hard.
It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.
Diana Bishop, of the Bishop witches that date back to Salem, and also a young scholar of Oxford spends her days studying and researching alchemy in Oxford’s Bodleian Library while also resisting using her magic. Then one day she calls up a manuscript that hasn’t been seen in centuries. Witches, vampires, and daemons alike gather, waiting for her to call it again. More than anything she wants to be left alone.
Her entire world shifts when she meets Matthew Clermont, fellow doctor of Oxford and vampire, who like others, is very interested in the manuscript. What begins as a mission to get Diana to call up the manuscript soon turns into something much deeper, passionate, and filled with many discoveries than either of them intended. They’ll stand up to anything and everyone in their way to protect each other and the manuscript that may contain the most important answers to questions about their existence.
The All Souls Trilogy is a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 1 of 3.
For the last twenty-four hours, I’ve been debating about how to begin this review. I’ll start where I began with this beautiful, mesmerizing series. The television show. I’d heard about it through a grapevine—I can’t remember which—and knew in my gut that I just had to watch it. I knew it wasn’t the typical broody supernatural show. There was both complexity and sophistication and so much beauty. I was blown away. So that’s where it began for me and then I just had to read the trilogy.
The book was long and deep, but I can honestly say that I feel like it didn’t drag. There’s purpose and a sense of longing and wonder with magic weaved in-between. Witch water and witch fire. Vampires as hunters. And daemons as overly intelligent and creative beings that dance on the line of sanity. I’m bewitched I tell you!
Diana and Matthew are drawn together through powerful passion, magic, and determination. The chemistry between the two of them is fire! I’m melting from the heat and certainly not complaining. I admire how stubborn they both are and how they stand up for what they believe in and how they feel. It’s so intense and incredible. It shook me, guys. And also, if you’ve read this already or watched the show, French bundling. LOL. I’ll never stop laughing like a moron at that. It’s so adorable, yet blush-worthy. The book made me feel intensely.
The surrounding characters were also phenomenal! I loved all of them! Well, except for Knox and Gerbert. They’re villainous dillholes. Ugh! So many dimensions and life and all-around loveable other characters. I especially loved when everyone was together under the Bishop roof. I especially loved how the Bishop witches are surprising, almost as if to say they’re the weirdos of their species. LOL.
And Marcus and Miriam, gah! Love them. They, along with Mathew, don’t come across as the typical type of vampire: broody and depressing. It’s refreshing. In fact, they take on a realistic facet, coming across as dominant creatures. Of course, coming across the Bishops created a great challenge.
There was so much to take in with this book. All good. All amazing. Completely mind-blowing. From the world building of Oxford to Madison to Sept Tours, it was all vivid and colorful and just gorgeous. The imagery was just stunningly realistic and added so much to the characters and swept me away.
I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about this book. Not a damn one. Finding the right words for this review was so difficult because this book was what I can only describe as ineffable and obviously rambling. It was in-depth and magical and splendid in how Diana and Matthew and all of the other characters worked my emotions. Praise from all angles from me. People told me this would be one of those ones that would become an obsession and it has! It’s just absolutely magnificent from head to toe, from magic to love, just absolute perfection. There’s so much more to this story than what the show gave, but they’re both so fantastic and leave me desperate for more. Never read anything like this. I need to start the next one!
“Aunt Sarah had always told me that magic was a gift. If it was, it had strings attached that bound me to all the Bishop witches who had come before me. There was a price to be paid for using this inherited magical power and for working spells and charms that made up the witches’ carefully guarded craft.” (Diana, p. 13)
“I want what I shouldn’t want, and I crave someone I can never have.” (Mathew, p. 106)
“A witch shouldn’t keep secrets from other witches. Bad things happen when she does.” (Gillian to Diana, p. 122)
“Did you know that a witch’s blood makes music? Like a siren who sings to the sailor, asking him to steer his ship into the rocks, the call of your blood could be my undoing—and yours.” ‘(Mathew to Diana, p. 175)
“Dying was nothing at all like I’d expected it to be. There was a moment of bone-deep quiet. A sense of parting and regret. Then nothing.” (p. 503)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? It Won’t Kill Ya by The Chainsmokers ft. Louane.
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!