A discovery of wromynce

While recovering from this minor food poisoning bout in Oxford the other week, I took a break by having an early night after my class and reading a book hurriedly purchase from a local bookstore, A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness, which title sounded (wrongly) familiar, and which turned out to be a soapy wromynce (my own mix of witch, vampyre, and romance…) involving a reluctant witch and a very ancient vampyre falling in love against the eternal rules of their respective communities. Including all imaginable clichés on these creatures, like enormous wealth, superior intelligence, involvement into human history, science, arts, politics, &tc., since the dawn of time (at the very least). The style is appalling, with one dimensional characters and less-than-one-dimension plots, a hotchpotch of alchemy and the most advanced science, of historical facts and of the most threadbare conspiracy theories, the main character oscillating between the rational, precocious, sport-obsessed, Oxford academic and a Harlequin-like damsel-in-distress having lost her intellectual pursuits… As in La Belle Sauvage, the book has a strong connection with Oxford and its colleges at the beginning of the book that may make for an extra incentive, but it was a relief to abandon the unfinished book there before returning to Paris|

 

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