Reader's Exchange

Being royal means never having to share your copy

Given William and Kate's recent choices--tasteful wedding, charitable donations instead of lavish gifts--I hope that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are readers.  Aware of their massive role model potential, the young royals are evidently set on using their powers for good.

What would be better than seeing them demonstrate that reading is as enviable as driving Aston Martins or wearing jewels?   We have a visibility issue, though.  The newlyweds' royal apartments could be positively littered with e-book readers and print volumes, but I have yet to see either of them photographed while engrossed in a novel.   

If only some well-wisher would send the Cambridges a copy of Deborah Harkness' new A Discovery of Witches.  Whoever picks it up first would read a few bits aloud, thus prompting the loving partner to run out and splurge on a second copy.  I think they can afford it.  Once the photogenic couple is enthralled with the story, a media lens could document the copy tucked under William's arm or perhaps the one projecting from Kate's designer tote.   Discovery of Witches jacket

Not that other books couldn't do the job.  Discovery runs counter to my preferences, though, and I loved it anyway.  Vampires, witches, and daemons generally are barred from my reading, but all three populate this suspenseful yarn.  I also appreciated Harkness' ability to intersperse all manner of arcane historical detail. 

Harkness' protagonist, Diana, is a feisty, athletic, persevering beauty who encounters a tall, head-turning stranger on a university campus (extra points for the library setting).  She's from humble-but-noteworthy origins; he lives in a castle inhabited by his clan for centuries.  Because they are two entirely different sorts of creatures, marriage intentions would spark controversy.  Both claim relatives who are endearingly flawed and do embarrassing things; there's even a legendary grandmother always prepared to render her judgments.  At one point, an extravagantly large ring (formerly belonging to Our Hero's mother) comes into play. 

But, as I mentioned before, any new novel boasting an involving plot, oddly sympathetic characters, and a series-worthy premise would be appropriate.  Not sure why I thought of this particular one...


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