Have You Read A Discovery of Witches? What Did You Think?

This is a very spontaneous and random post, but I started A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness last night. When I went to put it on my “currently reading” shelf, I noticed that there are a lot of one-star and five-star reviews for it. It seems to be a book you either love or hate, and I am curious to see where I fall.

It has been such a long time since I have read a book that had such conflicting opinions, and I know that a lot of people have already read A Discovery of Witches, so I was just wondering if you have read it, what did you think? I asked this same question on Instagram and people are either gushing about it or telling me how much they hated it! It is definitely a book readers seem to have strong feelings about either way.

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.

Let’s talk about A Discovery of Witches in the comments!

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30 thoughts on “Have You Read A Discovery of Witches? What Did You Think?

  1. I’ve read it twice and I wasn’t thrilled by it either time. It just took so long to get going and I wasn’t particularly impressed with the payoff to all that build up.

    Hope you have a better experience reading it that me.

  2. I read it early on in October and really liked it. It reminded me of old skool reads. I did give it 4 stars as it did go on and on in some places though……

  3. I listened to the entire trilogy on audio, and absolutely loved it. I’m not sure I would enjoy it as much in written form, because the author uses tons of flowery and descriptive language, and that tends to get to me after a while. On audio, though, I love all that stuff. So if you read it, and find yourself conflicted, please give the audio a chance. Cheers!

  4. I liked it! The setting is dreamy, and I have a lot in common with Diana – well, so far as the young academic + rower goes. (To my knowledge, I’m not a witch 🤷🏼‍♀️) It made for a fun reading experience.

    You do have to take the book in context … it was published post-Twilight and pre-#MeToo, and there are some troubling sex/gender themes throughout the books. I’ll also say, the later books become … odd. Still fun and enjoyable (with some amazing characters) … but, odd nonetheless.

    1. Also, a lot of fill. The TV series cuts out a lot of the needless details, to – I think – the show’s benefit. It makes for a tighter story.

  5. I read it when it first came out, and loved it!! I’d like to re-read the first three books, since I bought the 4th when it came out, but felt like too much time had past and still haven’t gotten around to it.

  6. I love ADOW! It’s a book series that I enjoy re-reading, and once I’m done want to re-read again. It doesn’t help that the TV series is good, different from the book, but good.

  7. I read some time ago and remember just feeling meh about it. I don’t really have strong feelings about it. I think for me, the first book just didn’t suck me in enough to care about reading the rest of the trilogy. And while I love witch stories, I’ve never been huge on vampire romances. Happy reading!

  8. I loved the books and read them basically in one go. Have just bought the DVDs and will enjoy a “Discovery of Witches” night at Halloween.

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