It does take a lot for me to write a book review but my last week of being drawn into Deborah Harkness’ world of witches, vampires, magic, history and science has probed me to write what I think.
I choose my books in the most random of ways if no one recommends them to me. I was looking for a good book as I purchase an Audible Credit once a month. I hadn’t had any recommendations for a while and was in the mood for a fantasy/supernatural type novel to pull me into the world of witches, magic, and whatever other unworldly creatures came along with it.
What I got was more than my money was bargained for.
Deborah Harkness is a history professor and has written academic books as well as this first novel of a trilogy. Her background in history and science and medicine definitely come out in parts of this novel but she changes what I wouldn’t normally find of interest in an academic volume into crazy, awesome fantasy fiction.
The novel follows Dianna Bishop, a research scholar while she tries to piece together the pieces of alchemy. This alone would have sent me into a sleep but when you discover Dianna is actually a witch, and not just any witch but a descendent of Bridget Bishop of the Salem witches, my attention was rapt. Because of past events, Dianna has forced herself to repress her magic, or so she thinks but when a book is out of reach on the shelves of the bodlian Library in Oxford, she sneakily magics it to her hands, under the careful gaze of Matthew Claimont, a professor who just so happens to be a vampire of considerable age. Dianna’s historical background and Matthew’s curiosity of the witch brings them together into an unknown adventure of treachery of their own kinds and speeds them forward into a world neither of them are prepared for. The instant attraction by these creatures causes more problems and the appearance of an ancient manuscript turns the world of witches, vampires and Demons against the pair.
Throughout this exciting, sitting on the edge of your chair novel, we are flung through time, continent and historical events both fascinating and frightening. And as Dianna’s powers increase, so does the danger for all.
This book is gift wrapped with history, academia, along with a huge dose of supernatural and magic with a little bit of country luxury lifestyle thrown in for effect. A beautiful story of crossed eyed lovers and brilliant minds of academics brings the reader into a world of knowledge and love of both friendship, family, and lover. Compassion by creatures in this novel makes vampires, witches and demons more human like but still retaining a sense of danger.
Thrilling, funny, humanistic, magical, sad and sorrowful, adventurous and dangerous allows the reader a world long forgotten. Want away from your woes of every day life, join Dianna, Matthew and their families and friends on this roller coaster thriller of fantasy.