Midnight Enchantments: Diana Bishop & The Family Homestead
by Devon Ellington
There are so many wonderful elements in Deborah Harkness’s A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES it would be hard to pick my favorite. I love that Diana is a scholar, and she’s immersed in research and searching for a lost manuscript. All elements that book lovers everywhere fantasize about. It felt like the best bits of POSSESSION (a novel I adore) beautifully melded with urban fantasy.
Diana is smart, resourceful, witty, caring. All the things we want and need in heroines we admire. She’s put aside her magic because she wants to earn her place with her non-magical abilities. She wants what she achieves to be her achievements, and not “just magic.” Yet it is only as she accepts that she is the magic and the magic is her — there’s no separation, she has to accept her whole persona — that she truly blossoms. It’s not JUST that she falls in love with Matthew, a man worthy of her, in spite of the whole complication with him being a vampire and all. It’s that she accepts the power within as part of her, not separate from her, and then she can truly grow.
My favorite part of the book, however, is the Bishop house. The family homestead that adds and subtracts rooms in preparation for guests. The house that LIVES, along with certain spirits residing within it. The house is its own entity. It is a character, not just a location. It is humanized, personified, a character in its own right. What better way to truly demonstrate the effect that environment has on character?
It gives a whole new meaning to a term I often use in class, “emotional geography.” The house thinks, feels, intuits, acts, much like a person does. Yet it is a house. We talk about the “vibe” or the “feeling” of a house or a home — this house take it to an even more tangible and extreme level.
Diana is wonderful and inspirational, and I can’t wait to see what she and Matthew do next. But the HOUSE is my favorite character in the book!
You can find out more about Deborah Harkness and the book on her website.
–Devon Ellington is a full-time writer, publishing under a half a dozen names in both fiction and non-fiction. Her latest paranormal suspense, ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, is available under the Annabel Aidan name from Champagne Books.