Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 231
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is a fantastical, magical tale of destiny, innate magical abilities, and romance. When Diana Bishop discovers a magical, ancient spell book, her world is turned upside down as her magical destiny is set in motion. Diana unintentionally summons witches, daemons, and vampires into her seemingly normal, academic world as she studies that pages of the spell book, Ashmole 782. As Diana interacts with the magical beings who were brought into her world, she learns of secret conspiracies, magical councils and societies, and destinies of love and magical bloodlines. A Discovery of Witches is an enthralling tale that weaves together romance, modern-day settings, and ancient magical prophecies and powers. The story is also one of forbidden/taboo love as Diana falls in love with a vampire named Matthew. Diana and Matthew may be destined to be together, but the Congregation, a powerful group of magical beings, are set on breaking apart that destined love and on preventing the couple from bearing a child who would be part witch and part vampire. There are certainly many difficult decisions that Diana must make along her path as she struggles to embrace her magical powers/destiny and to follow her heart, even amongst the dangers it brings. There are certainly element of good versus evil as corrupt and power-hungry magical beings seek to control or destroy Diana and Matthew.