A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harnkess follows Dr. Diana Bishop, a scholar in the history of science and 17th century chemistry, in various places around the world from Oxford University to Madison, New York.
While doing research during the Mabon holiday, Bishop requests the Ashmole 782, a palimpset or manuscript which has been altered but retains much of the original form. At the time, she knows that it is a special manuscript but not exactly how special. She returns the book at the end of the day just like she would any normal book. From this point on her life will not be the same.
During this same day, she meets a vampire Matthew Clairmont. She knows the difference between human, vampire, witch and daemon because she is a witch.
Diana is a descendant of Bridget Bishop, the first person executed during the Salem Witch Trials. She has some power but she tries not to use them. Her Aunt Sarah and Sarah’s life partner Emily Mather have tried to teach Diana but to no avail. She’s just not that into witchcraft.
Matthew Clairmont is one of many beings that is trying to find the manuscript, Ashmole 782. It is supposed to contain the secrets to the life of vampires, witches and daemons. At first, I’m not sure if I like him. Is he stalking Diana for good or bad reason? They seem to have chemistry. Will their relationship be toxic or not? It’s against the rules of vampires and witches to be in a relationship with other beings. Obviously, Matthew and Diana are going to break this rule.
The aunt’s house is amazing. It changes according to what visitors it expects. More visitors = more rooms. There are also some ghosts hanging around to give their opinions.
In order for Diana to get Ashmole 782 back, she must learn how to control her power. The aunts try to teach her but it doesn’t seem to work. So Diana might have to travel back in time to be taught by old school witches. Will she find the witches? We will have to read the sequel to find out.
If you enjoy history and science that involves witchcraft, then you will enjoy A Discovery of Witches. If you go to bookstores to condemn the witchcraft section for views on YouTube, then you’ll be missing out on a great story.