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A Discovery of Witches


A Discovery of Witches Cover

ISBN13: 9780143119685
ISBN10: 0143119680
Condition: Standard
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Barb Wyer, July 17, 2014 (view all comments by Barb Wyer)
History and intrigue and fantasy all rolled into one. Loved it! Look forward to the next two in the trilogy.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Maggie_S, May 1, 2014 (view all comments by Maggie_S)
An enjoyable read but it really is like Twilight for grown ups. Also, it's part of a trilogy and the first book ends with absolutely no resolution.
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Sheila Deeth, January 6, 2014 (view all comments by Sheila Deeth)
I can smell the ancient books in the library, sense the wind in leaves, hear echoed footsteps in hallowed halls, and touch the warm stone walls. Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches takes me to that “other place”---Oxford---and makes its science, studies and magic all vividly real.

The magic is very quietly introduced---no blaring headlines, no threat that the world is not, in fact, as it seems; just a background truth---the quiet, gentle, studious narrator is a witch; so are some other people; and the man who keeps looking at her is a vampire.

Deborah Harkness’ vampires are not the stuff of legend, old or new, but the author creates a solid sense that they might be the stuff behind legend. And so a whole new world behind our world insinuates itself into both story and the reader’s imagination. It’s beautifully thought-out, pleasingly self-consistent, and painted with just the right touch of science to truly satisfy. Even when a scene offers that destabilizing hint that it couldn’t be that way, the reader’s already pondering, certain the author meant it exactly as it is, and trusting the author to make clear whatever it is we can’t yet work out.

There’ll be time travel in the next book of the trilogy. I can’t wait to see how she makes something so impossible make sense. But for now I’m thoroughly satisfied and delighted to have shared some time in the world of Oxford and magic, sipping wine (and oh how thoroughly evocatively she describes it), enjoying the foods, and shying away from that cold feeling on the back of the neck that means someone’s looking.

With this very grown-up, satisfying, world-bending, entertaining and enthralling successor to Harry Potter, this author and these Witches have me hooked.

Disclosure: My husband gave it to me for Christmas
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Melissa Markham, May 15, 2013 (view all comments by Melissa Markham)
Ugh! Don't do it. Put the book down and step (click?) away. You'll love it at first. A brilliant Ivy League professor of alchemy, who loves to run, row, and drink tea, is spending her sabbatical year at Oxford writing a paper on alchemy. What's not to love? Then she meets a vampire. Then her brain turns to mush. All of her intelligence, not to mention her pressing academic work, disappears. You'll hang on okay until the end of the book. But it will leave you hanging. And you'll feel compelled to read the next book. Half-way through the second book, you'll finally slam it shut. In utter disgust, you'll throw it across the room, delete it from your ipod, or somehow eradicate it from your life. Then you'll suffer an existential crisis wherein you'll despair that books are even worth reading anymore. Your self esteem will plummet as you ponder what made me you spend that much time with these people who are impossible to like, chasing a plot that refuses to budge. Finally, you'll come crawling back to the realm of Good Literature, begging to be let back in after participating in the ultimate betrayal that is this series.
And the worst part is? It actually started out pretty well...
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Michelle Olson, May 15, 2013 (view all comments by Michelle Olson)
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Guest Reviewer, Cheryl W:

I was lucky enough to win one of the advanced reader copy versions of Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches, to be released in 02/2011. When I completed the first chapter and woke up the next morning I decided that I had to write my thoughts for the review as they occurred. One of the things that crossed my mind when I first heard about this book was wow. This book is written by a scholar. I researched the author via her university home page because I was curious about her background. When I finished the first chapter I was still in the wow stage and my thoughts were; this is a bridge between scholars and great urban fantasy writers. I love when I get to have both! I wish as a techie scholar I could combine my two loves of computers and urban fantasy. This book was everything I hoped it would be!

I read this slowly despite how I typically devour most books. With some books I slow down intentionally because I realize that I do not want it to end quickly. A Discovery of Witches is that type of book. It is the type of book you develop a relationship with as you read it. I think that there will be people that will fall in love with it as they read it just as I did. I hope that even those that feel that it may not be for them still find something that they can take from the book. It is very intricate. The story is well developed, extremely well written and the characters are very well developed. But, it was not a quick read for me because, I did not want it go fast. For me it is a book that you spend time with and do not forget the places it takes you as the characters are being drawn. The history it discusses is thought-provoking. One of the things I liked was how Diana developed with regard to her powers and her family. Politics were a strong part of the story. With regard to the politics one of the most intriguing things I found was who is involved in the politics. I am trying to keep this review spoiler free. But, as the blurb on the back states we have multiple beings involved in this book and they have a very long history with each other. One of the things that make this book so amazing is the historical backdrop for all of the creatures. I found myself looking forward to learning more about all of the beings. I really look forward to more written by Deb Harkness. I had a hard time deciding how to end my review but it does not spoil anything to shout; “I can’t wait to see what happens next”!
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Product Details

Harkness, Deborah
Penguin Books
Harkness, Deborah E.
Horror - General
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 7
33 x 10.5 x 8.5 in 17.5 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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A Discovery of Witches Used Trade Paper
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Product details 432 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143119685 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter and Twilight."
"Synopsis" by , In a sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches became the "it" book of early 2011, bringing Deborah Harkness into the spotlight and galvanizing fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar's depth to this riveting story of magic and suspense. And the story continues in Book Two, Shadow of Night.
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