Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Discovery of Witches

Amazon,com When I see the words "Bodleian Library" on the book flap I am sold.  But A Discovery of Witches is not just for crazy academic-philes like me, in fact much of the action takes place outside of one of Oxford's most famous libraries. 

I have heard people who are fed up with vampires and supernatural kitsch who still love this novel.  That says a lot.  The protagonists, Diana and Matthew are a witch and a vampire respectively.  There are also creatures called Daemons, and regular humans running around Oxford, a French castle, and upstate New York.  Diana is a History professor, specializing in the history of Science, and she is pretty pissed off about her witch blood, trying hard to ignore any magic she might posses.  Matthew is a science professor as well, working to unravel the genetic secrets of humans, witches, vampires, and daemons.  Are they four separate species, or merely different breeds born of selective mating?  He has been working on these questions since he discussed Origin with his good old pal, Charles, fresh from his tour on the SMS Beagle.

The world Harkness builds straddles the line between science and magic as it snakes through time.  History buffs will enjoy the  historical details that pepper the plot and dialogue while the entirely new layers that have come out of Harkness's imagination help to create a world that is ours with a twist.

The only problem I can find with this sprint through magic and time is that it is the first of a planned trilogy, and the second one isn't coming out until summer 2012.  Grrr.  To bad I don't have the DNA marker for Time-walking.


  1. This sounds like a great read! I added it to my list- but won't start it for a while since the next book won't be out until the spring. When I know a sequel is coming- but a bit later I wait to start the book so I don't have to wait long to start the next one! Awesome review and post!


  2. I hope you have a good time with it! I think she created a very interesting reality:)