I would like to thank KOBO, my trusty e-book site for selling this AMAZING book for $2.99. To be honest, I had not heard of this book before I got the email advertising the discount for 24 hours. I hopped on my trusty Goodreads, saw that it had a high rating and some great reviews! So I snapped it up! I am SO EXCITED to report that this was a book that satisfied my need for something GREAT to read.
5 ***** = Highly recommend; A Classic; Couldn’t get much better; Could read over and over again
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
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.
There are so many reasons why I loved this book! But I will start with my only hesitations, not even negatives, just warnings. This is not a book for a very young reader. The great love story does have a physical aspect to it. While it is not graphic at all, it is actually written in a LOVELY & honorable manner, it is not for young readers. Witches, Daemons and Vampires! While most current YA or paranormal books have one or more of these type of characters, this leans towards the more classic witch or wiccan character and I think a younger reader just needs to be aware of it.
Now the love! First, I am obsessed with England, always have been. I enjoy an accent and this story starts off in OXFORD! Oh my word, the story is so well written you feel like you have been plopped in Oxford and are rowing with all those lovely cool Brits! The writing was mature, interesting and honestly just right for me. I do enjoy YA literature the most, it’s not as serious as some adult fiction and is a great balance of imaginative children’s story telling with a little danger and romance mixed in. But some of those teen characters are written a little whiny and maybe a bit indecisive. It was refreshing to read about older/mature characters and the story was just as exciting and interesting.
Characters – We meet Diana, a witch who is an extremely well-educated woman who wants nothing to do with magic. Without spoiling the way the author unfolds this lovely character, she is KICK BUTT! I love a stubborn girl who has a purpose, knows it and does everything she can to keep her life on track. What makes this story great to me is that she is thrown a serious curve ball in her “planned” life and she takes on her challenge and journey head on. Really, I love it when it’s almost acknowledged, life is an adventure and then the character screams, “let’s do this”! She is not perfect, but she is written clearly to me, she can’t figure out everything, but she knows that she has to do whatever she feels is right at that moment.
Matthew!!!!! It almost kills me to mention him and not let him unfold in the story how I read it. So here goes, tip toeing and trying not to spoil. First, umm, strong male character, very passionate, long past, but not perfect. He also speaks many languages, including French. For this Mexican girl from Los Angeles, a man speaking partly in French and “possibly” calling you the sweetest names of endearment, in that French, is pretty AMAZINGLY ATTRACTIVE. LOL!
This story is woven with so many facets and layers that include, history, science and creature lore. I was intrigued from the start and am dying to see what happens. There was no twist or turn that I anticipated and “Good NIGHT” the love story is so refreshing. I am all for the first love stuff, I am actually a total sucker for it. This love story was so mature and had those aspects of the classic knight and maiden love story that it just made me HAPPY!
This is one of those books that I absolutely don’t want to spoil and almost just want to say “ITS GREAT, JUST TRUST ME & READ IT”. I don’t want to take away any of the enjoyment I experienced just letting this world draw me in and unfold.
The next book, Shadow of Night, is released on July 10th. I can not tell you how relieved I was to hear the release was so soon. I am excited and can’t wait to read it!