A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES
AUTHOR - DEBORAH HARKNESS
BEST-SELLERS - nil (debut)
SYNOPSIS - When historian Diana Bishop finds an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft.
Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years;one of the powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist.
Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...
EXCERPT - Something wasn't right. He'd sensed it from the first moment he saw Bishop in the library. Matthew crossed his arms and studied her, but he still couldn't figure out what it was. The witch didn't give off the usual scents - henbane, sulfur, and sage. She's hiding something, the vampire thought, something more than the lost manuscript.
Matthew turned away, seeking out the table she was using as a desk. It was easy to spot, littered with books and papers. That was the likeliest place for her to put the smuggled volume. As he took a step towards it, he smelled electricity and froze.
Light was seeping from Diana Bishop's body - all around the edges, escaping from her pores. For a moment she seemed to shimmer. Matthew shook his head in disbelief. It was impossible.It had been centuries since he'd since such a luminous outpouring from a witch.
FL Speak - It begins with a discovery of witches. A stunning debut novel. To be honest, i was most apprenhensive when i saw the book in the shop. But the shopkeeper promised me that it wasn't just another vampire love story that seems to be doing the rounds nowadays. Nevertheless, even after reading the synopsis and rolling my eyes where it was clearly mentioned that there was a lovey-dovey thingy, i still didn't want to buy it. Sadly for me, the other books didn't catch my fancy and this one was wrapped with care.
Couple of chapters later, the book shows its potential. The character of Diana Bishop is the lead femme fatale. Its a pretty straightforward book. No sub-plots and very few characters. This keeps the pace exciting and makes it easy for the reader to connect to the characters. Pages upon pages of detailed backgrounds, which are so common in fantasy books are refreshingly missing here. The fresh plot, the bold characters and a thoughtful plotline carries the reader throughout the journey of Diana Bishop.
If you are a fan of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, you will automatically love this book. If you are a fan of romancing witches and vampires, you will love this book. And if you want a different vampire-witch story than the above mentioned, you WILL love this book. Deborah Harkness is like a cross between Stephanie Meyer and J.K Rowling. The book has its funny moments in patches, action when needed to be and no unneccessary dragging of stuff.
The book though ends abruptly as the ending suggests that there is going to be atleast one more book before the story concludes.
My rating - 3.5 out of 5.
PRICE - INR 499/- from Headline Publishing Group. (Hardback - 2011)