A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches

eBook - 2011
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Witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2011
ISBN: 9781101475690
Characteristics: 1 online resource.
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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From Library Staff

ReadingAdviser_leni Mar 29, 2019

Wow! This was an incredible story. Full of rich detail, complex characters, and beautiful settings. I regret not having read this earlier, but at the same time, so glad that I am able to enjoy it now. I am really looking forward to reading the next in the series!

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RainbowPonygirl1234 Apr 23, 2019

So, people have compared this to Twilight and I can understand why - there are certain elements that parallel each other - BUT this is NOT Twilight. It is so much better. 100000x better.

I have read this book and listened to it and I recommend it either way. The writing is well researched and done beautifully. The character building is gradual but realistic, and the setting descriptions are detailed enough to create a really nice mental picture but not tedious.

Apr 03, 2019

A fun and exciting read.

ReadingAdviser_leni Mar 29, 2019

Wow! This was an incredible story. Full of rich detail, complex characters, and beautiful settings. I regret not having read this earlier, but at the same time, so glad that I am able to enjoy it now. I am really looking forward to reading the next in the series!

Feb 20, 2019

Sooo goood! Need to read book two!

Jan 22, 2019


LPL_LeahN Jan 16, 2019

In this first book in the All Souls trilogy, a begrudging witch sets potentially catastrophic events into motion throughout the magical world she inhabits (along with vampires and daemons) when she uncovers a long lost and cryptic manuscript that could hold all the secrets of their existence and power. She meets Matthew, a 1500 year old vampire, and together they break all the rules while trying to solve the mystery of Ashmole 782.

I didn't love this book. Hear me out...the witch/vampire love story came off as rather tropey and also a little uncomfortable for me at times. Frankly, it was predictable and distracting. However, Harkness is a student of history and it shows, the book was brilliantly researched. And she also has a way with imagery, painting a beautiful backdrop of Oxford, a sprawling mansion estate in France, and the charming, bewitched home of Diana's childhood. And there was enough going on with the plot to compel me to keep reading, as well as put the second book in the series, A Shadow of Night, on hold.

Jan 16, 2019

I couldnt stop reading this book! Love the strong female character. All the history around the story its just fascinating!

sundanced Nov 28, 2018

The character development of this book is a little shallow, but there is still something that can draw you in. An interesting take on the supernatural romance between witch and vampire.

The novel focuses on a reluctant witch, Diana Bishop – she is a historian of Alchemy. While Diana is doing some research at Oxford, she comes across a manuscript that changes her life. She meets a vampire that changes her view of what being a witch means to her. With a new look on supernatural world of witches and vampires, and with a blend of real life history, this book is a delightful read and I can’t wait for next book in the series! (submitted by SC)

Sep 07, 2018

I wanted to like this book. Really, I did. Supernatural stuff. Some interesting history. Nice prose. Vivid description.
But about a third of the way through I gave up. About the 20th time he took her his strong arms and she looked up into his piercing dark eyes and felt his cold lips on her skin and she shivered all over, and then he loses his temper with her and starts grabbing her roughly and she's kind of scared and kind of turned on—about that time I started feeling like I might have to urp.
This is vampire romance, a genre the world needs no more of, with icky emotional elements that make the heroine look like a needy moron. Try again, Deborah Harkness. Make it less icky next time.

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Age Suitability

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RainbowPonygirl1234 Jan 24, 2019

RainbowPonygirl1234 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 47

gspl_Janni Mar 24, 2015

gspl_Janni thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 99

Oct 07, 2012

bribear thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 27, 2012

Faize thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Jul 24, 2016

When reading this book, I constantly fluctuated between wondering why I was reading it and not being able to put it down. Some parts I really didn't care for -- I am not a huge fan of romance in my fantasy books, but others, like the description of witches and their talents was pretty great. The book takes place in a world where witches, vampires, and daemons exist alongside humans, but are not allowed to mingle each other. This all changes when the heroine, a witch who has been denying her witchcraft, discovers a manuscript that everyone is looking for, and meets a dashing vampire. I admit, I will be reading the second book in the series soon. I also admit that it's not the best witchcraft novel I have ever read. I much preferred Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

AnneDromeda Oct 24, 2011

Diana Bishop is a witch in denial. An orphan born to a prominent witch family, she's ignoring her magical heritage to pour her energy into academia. She's travelled to Oxford's Bodleian Library to research a lecture she's giving on alchemy - but when she orders up one ancient manuscript, she unwittingly unleashes a maelstrom of supernatural power. Soon, she can't walk to her study carrel without tripping over some witch, vampire or demon brimming with curiosity or malicious intent. One such creature is Matthew Clairmont, a handsome fellow academic with a sanguine disposition. As other supernatural creatures become more threatening, Diana finds herself warily grateful for the help he offers. Can she survive the powers she's unleashed to become the witch she's meant to be? Is the real Matthew the kind, chivalrous man she's come to know, or the bloodthirsty hunter of whom she finds hints? The answers to these questions will determine the fate of the uneasy worldwide peace between witches, demons, vampires and humans.<br />

Like *Harry Potter*, *A Discovery of Witches* features an orphaned witch with latent legendary powers who encounters a great evil. It shares a great sense of mythology and place, too – you can practically smell the Bodleian when you're reading, and Oxford almost becomes extra character in the book. Diana's aunts' bewitched home in Wisconsin shares the same haunted architectural quirks readers loved in Hogwarts. And, like *Twilight*, an apparently-doomed romance with plenty of sexual tension and a sense of destiny takes centre stage in the action (but be forewarned: readers frustrated by the unresolved tension or the gender politics in *Twilight* will find themselves pretty annoyed with this book, too). This first book in the *All Souls* trilogy will also appeal to readers who enjoy the time travel elements and exhaustive research of authors like Diana Gabaldon (*Outlander* series) and Susanna Kearsley (*The Winter Sea*, *Marianna*). Other potential appeal factors include emphases on yoga, literature, and serious wine and book collecting. A great story to pick up for Hallowe'en, you'd best read the book now while the hold list is short, because the movie rights have already been purchased by Warner Bros. Oh, and good news for your future addiction issues: The second book, *Shadow of Night*, is anticipated for a summer 2012 release.

beauty1492 Jun 27, 2011

frist in Trilogy--All Souls Trilogy next novel 2012

driffle Jun 05, 2011

Slow at the beginning but reached a point where I didn't want to put it down. Can't wait for next book in series!


Add a Quote
gspl_Janni Mar 24, 2015

“Just because something seems impossible doesn’t make it untrue”
― Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches

Aug 14, 2012

‎"He was not of an age but for all time"___Ben Jonson


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gspl_Janni Mar 24, 2015

Sexual Content: Not much in book one but a little bit in book 2 & 3.

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