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.
You can purchase the book from: The Book Depository.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ohh I've been avoiding writing this review because I don't want to face the fact that I'll have to wait until July for the next book of the trilogy to come out.
At first the book was kind of slow. I pretty much had no idea where things were going but every next chapter was more and more interesting. I don't know which part of it was the best, the new type of vampires, the witches, the daemons, all the history or the characters themselves...
Okay first things first.. the vampires.
So this is not your typical goes crazy with hunger with the first drop of blood kind of vampires. They are more complex and what I loved about Matthew Clairmont the most is the fact that he was so old fashioned and he tries to be organized but his whole world is turned upside down by the passionate historian Diana Bishop, who despite her efforts to be normal, is anything but ordinary.
Matthew Clairmont as every other vampire has is incredible good looking and has a seductive charm but that's just the first thing you see of him. He is over protective and possessive and that gives him the perfect opportunity to get into a lot of trouble.
Next Diana Bishop. The witch! Well not if she could help it but none the less a very powerful one. She is very stubborn and she fights for everything in her life. Tries to live like a human and escape her legacy but you see how that is not possible when both her parents had very powerful magic that goes back to the witch hunts! She is a really strong character and I really liked her.
The daemons were not as active in the book because the main action was between the witches and the vampires but they have a strong presence and I have a feeling that we are going to see a lot of them in the next book. There are a few daemons we get to know a little better but not enough and they were described as the artistic species. I don't really know what else to say about them. The once we get to meet were nice and on the good side but there are always bad guys!
And then there is all the history in the story. I have no idea if the historical facts in the book were correct because I'm not really good with remembering dates and wars or anything important really but I loved reading about them. There was of course a lot of fiction regarding the people's personality from the past like what was Queen Elizabeth like or Newton and so many others but it was really interesting to read about it. To get that feeling like Matthew was really there and know all this stuff. I loved it.
As I said the beginning was a little weak but it got stronger and stronger with every next chapter and I was compelled to read the book in the middle of the night.
There were a few other important characters and it was pretty cool to hear their stories and their points of view of the situation at hand.
The book was more about discovering how you are and how you're meant to be and how you can't escape your destiny no matter how hard you try. I really liked the concept and the way the book was written and now the only thing I hate is the withdraw I have to go trough because I've been going to bed with the story the whole week.
For a while there I thought that it was just one book and not a trilogy and as I was nearing the end I got panicked that this would be the end but I was happily surprised when I saw that there would be two more books! I can't wait for July to come because the end was quite the cliff hanger.
This is one of those books that got me hooked and I would give it six stars if I could!
This book is also part of a three months challenge I participate in Goodreads. It's my number 6.
Here's a link to it if you want to join too, you still can: Quarterly Challenge #4 (December 2011 - February 2012)
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