Reviews

A Discovery of Witches (and a selection of teas)

So how do you review one of your favorite books to date? You don’t (you instantly reread it instead). You procrastinate – big time. At least that is how it turned out in my case. Yes, I included it on my list of favorite books from 2011 (found here, it came in at #8), but I couldn’t bring myself to review it (I felt my review wouldn’t do it justice). So…better late than never? Or perhaps I was spurred on by the fact that I am about to review the wonderful sequel “Shadow of Night” (and give away a copy, check back tomorrow!).

A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness combined three of my favorite things: history, intelligent writing, and the supernatural (the kind that doesn’t sparkle). Diana Bishop, academic, alchemical historian, and witch (and tea aficionado!), stumbles across an enchanted manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian library. Diana, who’s worked incredibly hard to bury her witchy past (very technical term, I know), returns the book, wanting nothing more than to get it out of here hands. Unfortunately, as much as she wants to return it, there are many, many others who would stop at nothing to get it back. Her discovery of the manuscript brings the creatures (vampires, witches, and daemons) to the library in droves. It is here she meets vampire scientist and unlikely ally Matthew Clairmont. Together, with a few others added to their motley crew overtime, they must figure out how to save themselves and discover the true contents of enchanted manuscript, though they certainly encounter a few bumps along the way.

A Discovery of Witches is more than just another vampire story (in an age where it feels like we are inundated with them). It is a well-written, well-researched, provocative, beguiling piece of fiction. A novel with a healthy mix of vampires, witches, daemons, history, academia, romance and wine is bound to a have a broad appeal, and A Discovery of Witches is no exception. I would whole-heartedly recommend it for fans of historical fiction, supernatural fiction, or just plain good fiction. 5/5 stars. Curious who I’d cast in the movie version? Find out here.

In honor of Diana’s love of tea, I thought I’d do a roundup of my favorite teas.

1. Tazo Vanilla White Apricot

2. MarketSpice Northwest Breakfast Tea

3. MarketSpice Cinnamon Orange Tea

4. MarketSpice Huckleberry Tea

5. Tazo Passion Tea (especially iced with lemonade!)

Photos: Penguin Group, Tazo Tea via amazon, MarketSpice via MadeinWashington, Tazo Tea via amazon.

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  • http://irisonbooks.wordpress.com Iris

    I did not love this one as much as you did. I have mixed feelings about it, though I do agree that it is a very addictive story. For me, the book was strongest in the first 200 pages or so (oh the academic library love!), but the ending felt a bit rushed. Perhaps it will be better when reread directly before reading Shadow of Night, as the story will progress naturally from there?

    • http://taftandco.wordpress.com Rory O’Connor

      I did reread it right before I read Shadow of Night. I enjoyed it just as much the second time, but I did find myself skimming the dressing/drinking/eating bits. Shadow of Night is definitely better – especially from a historical perspective.

  • Pingback: Review and Giveaway: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness | taft & co()

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