A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.
THOUGHTS & RATING
“It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.”
This was highly recommended by a good friend of mine and since we have the same taste in books I immediately got the whole series. BUT as the awesome reader that I am (note the sarcasm) I wasn’t able to get into it until last year.
This was a perfect blend between fantasy, history, science and a little bit of mythology. I was so amazed at how Matthew Clairmont’s brain works and it felt like I was not just reading for entertainment but also learning A LOT from it. The historical references the author has put into the story was another plus for me and as a history geek I devoured every information.
Not gonna lie I wasn’t the biggest fan of Diana at first. With her not accepting what she truly is, being in denial of everything and relying on other people to protect her but at the last few pages she began to change into the badass female character I enjoy reading about.
I would also like to give credit to the rest of the characters. Ysabeau, Marthe, Marcus, Miriam, Sarah, Emily, Hamish etc were all very unique and unforgettable in their own way. I love how this characters were not outshined by the main ones and was able to be a huge part of the overall story.
I have also recently finished the 1st season of the tv show and seeing my favorite characters come to life was such a joy. I’m not usually a fan of book to movie/tv show adaptation but I did really enjoy this. Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont was spot on!
This book was such a captivating tale that instantly caught my attention and challenged my imagination from the very first page. It was full of magic, action, romance and supplied unlimited knowledge and I loved every part of it. It might be a bit slow at first but it got better as you continue reading it. Definitely one of the best books I have read last year and can’t wait to get to the last book of the series.