A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

I work at the Park Ridge Public Library and this book caught my eye on the shelves a few times. I picked it up and thought it looked interesting, but I had so many things to read that I didn’t check it out. Then I was at a family party and someone there told me it was a really good book. The next time I worked I wanted to get it but all the copies except the large-print edition were checked out, so that’s the one I read. I had never read a large-print edition before and for those of you who haven’t, the print is larger, the margins are smaller, and the paper is thinner because there are more pages. But I kind-of liked reading in that format – it was easy on the eyes later at night when I usually need my reading glasses.

I really loved this novel. It is categorized as fantasy but there is a huge romantic element in it, and you well know that I love paranormal romances. In this story’s world, there are four species: ordinary humans, witches, vampires, and daemons. The humans are not aware of the others and the others work hard to keep it that way. They also try to keep separate from each other to not attract attention. Diana Bishop is a scholar and also a witch who tries very hard not to use her powers. One day in the library at Oxford, she calls up an old manuscript and attracts a lot of attention from all of the creatures, one of whom is a vampire named Matthew Clairmont. The two are attracted to each other and begin working together to solve the mystery of the bewitched manuscript. They fall in love and attract the ire of all the creatures. They must convince their families to accept and help protect the other creature that they love, while they work together to unlock Diana’s powers and the secrets of the manuscript. Their journey is fraught with obstacles and not totally resolved as the book ends, leading me to hope that there will be at least one sequel or maybe even a series. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves fantasy, books about vampires or witches, or lovers of paranormal romance. It is one of those stories where you think about the characters even when you are not reading the book. Books themselves also figure prominently in the story, making it a great choice for lovers of books and history.

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