What I’m reading for Blogophilia 25.5

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.

A reluctant witch. A 1500-year-old vampire. A mysterious manuscript known as Ashmole 782. The story begins with a discovery of witches.

The book’s opening setting is the Bodleian library at Oxford University. The first line hooked me, and I was there, sitting among the books.

Bodleian Library


A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. (from the blurb)

Magic Adventure Romance


Diana Bishop, reluctant witch, main character and narrator.

Sarah her aunt with partner Em, both witches, live in the Bishop family home in upper NY state

Matthew Clairmont 1500 year old vampire, French, Main character.

Marcus, his son, a vampire and scientist as is his father; they work together.

Miriam, colleague of Matthew and Marcus.

 Ysabeau, Matthew’s mother, lives at the family home, Sept-Tours, in France, near Lyon.

Hamish, daemon, lawyer and financier, good friend of Matthew’s.

the Bishop family home a character as well since it has its own personality and role to play in the telling of the tale. It keeps possessions, deletes and adds rooms as needed. The family ghosts interact with the living.

Tabatha the cat

Marthe One character is not explained. Marthe, the housekeeper at Matthews’s family home. She is a vampire but is also a terrific cook. She used to feed the tenants os the estate. Obviously she cannot taste her own creations but they are mouth watering all the same.


A serious subject matter written with a light witty touch.

Ever ponder the question: what to serve a vampire for dinner? Or the question of a vampire’s home life? And his interactions with his mother and siblings? Or the vision of a yoga practicing vampire? Ponder no more.


The dinner. These vampires eat more than blood but their diet is restricted, no cookies but nuts and berries and very rare meats and lots of wine. The dinner scene is one of the most humourous, warm and sensual scenes you’ll find anywhere.

The vampires here may have lips like sugar but they can’t eat sugar sugar

And oddly for a novel that includes vampires, the heroine is not once bitten.

The author never uses the word wurthering which is a sound but the words she does use are evocative of whatever she is describing whether she’s describing the highs or the lows of the scene.

All the characters no matter the creature, are all very human.


Her definitions of vampire, daemon and witch are unique.  In this world the daemons vampires and witches interact in the same world as the humans. Except for Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood) I don’t know of any author whose world is like this.

The writing style is eloquent and flowing prose. With touches of whimsy for added enjoyment.

Her descriptions are complete. The Point of View is mostly  in first person except an occasional chapter in 3 person omniscient. The author is an historical and scientific scholar. As are the two main characters.

One of the best books ever.

magic is a gift just like love

My apologies. It was necessary to write this as quickly as possible.


written for

Blogophilia week 25.5 – “Wuthering Lows”

Bonus Points:

(Hard, 2pts): incorporate a song title (or lyric) that has the word “sugar”

(Easy, 1pt): include the phrase “once bitten”

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15 Responses to What I’m reading for Blogophilia 25.5

  1. Liam says:

    sound interesting

  2. Chuck says:

    Here I was hoping to find a better use/definition of Wuthering

  3. trev says:

    I find it fascinating how She, as do you too with 1900, go into great detail to normalise the life of a Vampire, to the point of making him as real as you and me in settings that are familiar to us all. The way Deborah makes them into a family unit with comparisons to how they would eat food because of their species and their intelligence and literal surroundings are classic as well as fascinating to imagine in my minds eye….you may have written this quickly Sue.. but you have wet my appetite for this book! xxx

  4. Marvin Martian says:

    You made this book sound very interesting! I wonder if you could do a review of my life story? Shor and not so sweet 🙂 Enjoyed reading this! 8 points Earthling! 🙂

  5. Feathered Pen says:

    Vampire practicing yoga? Now, that’s really funny,lol! But no, I am not doing yoga with a vampire. How can I close my eyes during the meditation when I know that someone is restlessly checking my neck 🙂

    “magic is a gift just like love” now that might just make me find that book around here:)

    I love your post, easy on the eyes to read and u gave us a good bird’s eye view of the book.

  6. Nissmech says:

    After all the hype about vampires being withered,obsessive old men that eat, think and breathe a craving for blood, it felt good to know that vampires are people too!

  7. Steven Clark says:

    This kind of story is right up my alley of the type of fiction I like to read, I’ll have to check it out.

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