Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.
Deborah Harkness is a professor of history at the University of Southern California. She has received Fullbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. She also writes an award-winning wine blog.
Especially the last half of the book. Witches, Vampires, and daemons coexist and even work together for the same end. These characters were pretty interesting and well thought out too. For the most part anyway... there was one part in the book that totally conflicted everything you knew about the main character. Was she a virgin the whole time, or as referenced mainly on page 360, did she know the comforts of man? I don't know or really care, and frankly, even though it was a slight screw up in the character build-up, it didn't ruin the plot. I soon forgot about that little blip, and was once again happy to find out what was going to bring Matthew and Diana to the answers they needed. Of course the book ended with me not really knowing what I wanted, but I did still get a ton of answers, at the same time. Weird, I know, but weird-good.
Anyway, now I need a copy of the second book. Yeah, it's that good.
4/5 (Would have been 5 if not for the blip in character)
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