Now this series is an interesting one. When I had first heard of A Discovery of Witches, the sequel (Shadow of Night) had not come out yet, and the series was first thriving. Everyone I knew was talking about it; either saying they were interested in it, they were currently reading it, or were about to read it. And now, as I sit and look up details about the (now) trilogy and Deborah Harkness, I realize that I had read the book shortly after it was published!
The book starts with an ancient alchemist manuscript being rediscovered in the Oxford Bodleian Library by Diana Bishop, our main character. Diana is immediately attracted to the book for powerful and unknown reasons, and she soon becomes hunted because of it. Along the way, while trying to understand just what the heck is going on, she meets Matthew Clairmont, our hero.
In my opinion, it was a slow start. I got into the plot and became interested in what was going on, but I wasn't chomping at the bit to turn the next page. As I read on, I began to realize that I loved the main character, but didn't care for the romantic interest, Matthew, in the least. He's a great character, he really is. But I know that if I were Diana, I'd have knocked him over the head with a two-by-four at least ten times by now. (Five smacks per book.)
I rarely ever like the female characters in books (as you probably may know by now from my previous blog posts), but there's something about Diana that's very likable. She kept me reading A Discovery of Witches and got me to pick up Shadow of Night (even though I would have picked it up anyway because of my inherent stubbornness).
As I read on, I began to grow fond of the story. Shadow of Night was incredible. When I read A Discovery of Witches I rated it three out of five stars, but when I read the sequel to it, I went back and rated them both four stars.
So if you're not fond of A Discovery of Witches, stick with it if you can. Shadow of Night is worth it (in my opinion). And if you're one of the people who likes- or even loves- the series, I can now see why.