*Now a major Sky original production*
THE NUMBER ONE INTERNATIONAL AND SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER. A Discovery of Witches is the first in the must-have, must-read ALL SOULS trilogy.
It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.
Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestselling ALL SOULS trilogy.
A world of witches, daemons and vampires.
A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future.
Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it.
When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires.
Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist.
Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...
Five reasons to read A Discovery of Witches and the All Souls Trilogy
'Rich, thrilling ... A captivating and romantic ripping yarn' E L James
'Intelligent and off-the-wall ... irrestistible to Twilight fans' Sunday Times
'I could lose myself in here and never want to come out ... Utterly enchanting on every level' Manda Scott
'Exciting amounts of spells, kisses and battles, and is recounted with enchanting, page-turning panache' Marie Claire
'A bubbling cauldron of illicit desire ... an assured saga that blends romance with fantasy' Daily Mail
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Historian Deborah Harkness takes the familiar setting of Oxford University and infuses it with magic, intrigue and a dash of romance. The first book in her All Souls trilogy follows scholar and witch Diana Bishop as she accidentally unleashes a curse during her research and embarks on a journey to lift it. Harkness has studied the history of science, medicine, alchemy and magic, and her knowledge of arcane details enriches the story. A Discovery of Witches will delight not only fantasy lovers, but also readers who enjoy epic dramas rich in historical detail. We’re thrilled that Harkness’ series has inspired a BBC drama.
In Harkness's lively debut, witches, vampires, and demons outnumber humans at Oxford's Bodleian Library, where 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. Against all occult social propriety, Bishop turns for protection to tall, dark, bloodsucking man-about-town Clairmont. Their research raises questions of evolution and extinction among the living dead, and their romance awakens centuries-old enmities. Harkness imagines a crowded universe where normal and paranormal creatures observe a tenuous peace. "Magic is desire made real," Bishop says after both her desire and magical prowess exceed her expectations. Harkness brings this world to vibrant life and makes the most of the growing popularity of gothic adventure with an ending that keeps the Old Lodge door wide open.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book was unputdownable!
Couldn’t put this book down. Didn’t stop reading until I had read all three books. Intelligent, romantic, plausible and full of excitement. Great historical referencing that provides a rich backdrop to an already rich narrative. Have started to read them again.
Good idea but ambles towards the end
Out of the approximately 9 billion books out there about witches/vampires the premise of this book, that there are 4 different creatures sharing this earth, is more original than most. The author has clearly done her research and the central character, Diana, is a convincing American historian of alchemy albeit a somewhat irritating overachiever. She creates a world in which we can just about suspend our disbelief that Vampires, Witches and Daemons (creatures who's only supernatural power seems to be high intelligence and poor attention spans) seemingly occupy most of the higher echelons of society. The characters are believable and I did care what happened to most of them although i did struggle to tell the ones introduced towards the end of the book apart.....The central plot element, an alchemical text that potentially holds the power over all the races, is interesting and keeps the story going for the first 300 pages or so. It's after this point that the book starts to get lost, there are times when you're not sure if it's turning into a Stephanie Mayer book, others when it heads into more action/adventure territory. I think its biggest issue is that by the time you get to the last 100 pages you realise that you're not going to get the answer to the story and that we're at the beginning of a sequence of books, which will eventually get us to the secrets behind Ashmole342. This isn't always a bad thing as a sequence of books by a great writer is a joy, but I couldn't help thinking that the author doesn't really know herself how to end it, hence the extremely open ending. All in all a good start, it certainly kept my interest but I would hope the follow up starts to provide more answers and creates less questions