Monday, June 13, 2011

"A Discovery Of Witches" by Deborah Harkness

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  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (February 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670022410
I've seen mixed reviews of this book and was curious about it. I don't often feel a sense of sadness when a book ends - but I did when this one ended. I loved this book! It's a creative, imaginative, fantastical work of fiction.

The book depicts world that is populated by humans, vampires, witches and demons.  A academic witch who has turned her back on her familial (descendants of Salem, Massachusetts witches) witching powers becomes acquainted with a vampire in the Bodleian library at Oxford. He's a fascinating, handsome professor who has, among many, a good Scottish friend named Hamish - who's a demon. Witch and vampire fall for each in a big way - a big "no-no" in the world of 'creatures'. This forbidden love triggers the fury of the 'council' and, in a facile twist of prose, brings together an odd assortment of 3 witches, 3 vampire and 3 demons...all of whom make for a sub council dedicated to true love for all. The reluctant witch must learn to use her ancestral powers in order to survive the wrath that her romance has unleashed.

I can see where some readers might not be able to enjoy this book because they find the whole story implausible. It is, of course, implausible. Fiction is, almost by definition, generally, implausible. I read this book and thought of it not only as a truly imaginative work of fiction but also as allegorical ; where some loves are still considered taboo  and where we still think that some sorts of people are blood suckers, demonic or spell casters. What I wanted from this book was entertainment - and I got that in spades. It's rollicking tale of love, sorcery and the coming together of all creatures in a common desire for good. What I don't understand is how a reader would not at least appreciate this book as the well crafted, thoroughly imaginative tale that it is. I think of it almost as a fairy tale for grown ups. A unisex fairy tale.

I liked this book so much that I also listened to the audible version - which makes the story all that much more enjoyable. It's perfectly narrated by the talented Jennifer Ikeda. Rumor has it that this will be a trilogy and I simply can't wait for the sequel to be in my hands.

This book is a love story and rollicking romp into the mind of a gifted writer. This book needs to become a movie. It would be fantastic!  Okay - I've had my rave and will go back to my perusals.


I bought this book as well as the audible book.

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