Thursday, December 6, 2012

Reviews: DISCOVERY OF WITCHES and SHADOW OF NIGHT by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Diana is the last of the Bishop witches, and she's spent her entire life avoiding magic. When she inadvertently unlocks the spell that binds an ancient manuscript, she can't ignore her power any longer. Diana must learn how to manage her magic, and fast, or she'll be an easy target for jealous witches and xenophobic vampires. Breaking the rules that govern magical creatures, Diana marries Matthew, a tall, dark, and broodingly stereotypical vampire. He pulls her into a world of blood feuds and danger, but overlaying it all is his quest to understand the four races: witches, vampires, daemons, and humans. Diana is the key to unlocking the genetic mysteries of the relationship between the creatures, but time is running out. Luckily, a powerful witch and an ancient vampire know how to stretch time to their purposes.

This novel has romance, magic, danger, and betrayal at every turn. Despite the fantastic creatures, the characters are all resonant and real, and it was wonderful to re-read this book. Hurry up, July, so I can see what happens next!

 Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel continues Diana and Matthew's twisted tale, sending them to Elizabeth's England in an effort to escape the Congregation that hunts them, both for their forbidden love and for Diana's as yet untapped power. But England in the sixteenth century poses a whole new host of problems, and Diana struggles to maintain her focus as she becomes swept into intrigue and daily life in old Europe. With a host of wonderful characters, Harkness explores magic in a fun way as she started to do in Discovery of Witches. While at times I felt like I was reading a witchier version of the Diana Gabaldon series, I enjoyed this sequel and can't wait for the final book in the All Souls trilogy.

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