Since it is book 1 of a trilogy, and I'm planning on reading all three of them, I thought to make up just one topic for them. Each book, though, will receive its own write-up.
Title of the book: A Discovery of Witches - A Novel
Author: Deborah Harkness
Series: YES! All Souls Trilogy
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Fantasy/Paranormal, Mystery
Short summary of the story: Doctor Diana Bishop, tenured at Oxford, enjoys the old books she encounters in Oxford's Bodleian Library. She's needing to get her material together for a lecture which she presents in November, so requests many books on varied subjects. However, one book she requests (and receives for a brief time) leads to delving into her families past, her life right now and her inheritance as a witch in a family of witches which goes back centuries.
Well, there are vampires, and witches and daemons in this story, but they have a history and a 'how it all works' which is different from any I've ever encountered. I'm really not wanting to write anything in the way of spoilers for this so don't want to go into the backstory.
However, I can say that the author herself is a scholar. This is the 'About the Author' in the back of the book.
Deborah Harkness is a scholar and writer specializing in the history of science and medicine. She has received numerous awards, including Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. Currently a professor of history at the University of Southern California, her most recent academic publication is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. This is her first novel.
Reading this book was very reminiscent of reading the novels of Dorothy L. Sayers. The Lord Peter Wimsey stories are a wonderful voyage of stories about people who are into the world of scholarship for the sake of scholarship, with memorable and well rounded characters (and excellently written mysteries). Ms. Harkness succeeds in writing about people who are 'real' in a world into which I wish I could step -- and linger.