Focus On: Witchy Reads

I use Grammarly’s free plagiarism checker because this post was born original, why make it a copy?

With a chill in the air and Halloween fast approaching its the perfect time to pull out some spooky reads. While some might like horror to get them in the mood for October 31st, I like to take a more historical approach! I’ve always been fascinated by witches in history, whether it’s the Salem witch trials or garden witches in 17th century England. Because I find the concept so fascinating, I’ve built up quite the list of witchy reads!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

Harkness’s books are a no brainer for me. Diana is a researcher at the Bodlein library who has turned away from her family’s magical legacy. When a mysterious manuscript crosses her path she’s forced to confront the world she’s tried so hard to avoid. Befriending a scientific researcher from All Souls college, Diana traces the manuscripts history as well as her own. Check out my review of the sequel here.

More books after the jump!

Continue reading “Focus On: Witchy Reads”

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Book Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Published July 10, 2012

*There are spoilers for A Discovery of Witches ahead.*

Summary:  This book picks up just where A Discovery of Witches left off — Matthew and Diana have been forced to flee the present because the Congregation doesn’t approve of their interspecies relationship. Though she performed the spell, Diana wasn’t sure what time they were traveling too until they got there. Elizabethan England is everything that Diana hopes it will be and more. Because it is her area of study at Oxford, she easily becomes wrapped up in experiencing life in the past and in historical inquiry. However, it’s not all fun and games in the past (and really what fun would that be for a book?) Matthew and Diana have jobs to do while in the 1500s: they must find Ashmole 782 and Diana must learn to control her magic. All of this becomes more complicated when Matthew quickly reverts to his not-so-nice sixteenth-century behaviors in the past! Everyone in the present (Ysebeau, Sarah, Marcus, etc) quickly notices that by going back the two disrupted the timeline.

Rating: 5/5
It should come as no surprise that I loved this book as much as Harkness’s last! Her characters are believable supernaturally, something that is not generally the case in the “Twilight” era. Diana is the scholar that I always wanted to be and I too always dreamed of going back to Elizabethan England. Everything that Diana and Matthew experience in the 1500s feels new and exciting, which is mostly due to Harkness’s own research interests. Deborah Harkness, like her fictional counterpart Diana, is an Elizabethan scholar. She wrote The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. I was taken with not only the historical setting but also the complex ways in which Harkness weaves together her characters. She knows so much about their back stories that it sometimes took me a little while to catch on to how certain people were connected (and it was a good thing!). I love a little challenge, and a history lesson, with my book.

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Blogger’s Note: I received a review copy of this book from Viking

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