I've always had an affinity for authors who can weave magic into a story in such a believable way that the reader forgets that such things are impossible. I adore Alice Hoffman(one of the few gifted authors that I speak of) and will happily devour one of her novels in one sitting. When my friends were telling me of this book, The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, I was hopeful that this novel would be in a similar vein with my favorite Hoffman novels. Unfortunately, it was not.
Now, this review is by no means negative. In fact, I quite enjoyed the book and would recommend it to the right reader. It is just that the magic in the book is by no means subtle and weaved into a tale that seems as though it is happening in reality. This book is full of witches, daemons, vampires and even a haunted house complete with ghosts and rooms that rearrange themselves.
The book centers upon Diana, a young scholar who also happens to be a witch. She discovers a book that all of the otherworldly creatures of the world (the aforementioned witches, vampires and daemons) all want for the secrets bound by magic within it. Soon her life is chaos, full of creatures that wish her harm. Into her life walks Matthew Clairmont, a vampire. As you probably see coming, Diana and Matthew become romantically involved and join forces to keep Diana safe.
I felt that the romance between Diana and Matthew seemed a little too similar to Twilight for me, a fact that bothered me for the entirety of the book. However, by the end of the book I was hoping for a happy ending between the two. Of course, as this is book one in a series, there really was no ending at all. It left you hungering for book two and the answers to all of the questions left open at the end of this book.
I rated this three stars on Goodreads, but it was more of a three and a half star book. If I had not been bombarded with vampire romances since the coming of the Twilight series, I would probably have enjoyed the book even more. I was entertained enough by this book that I will certainly be reading the next in the series.If you are a fan of the paranormal, this would be a great book for you!