Book one of the New York Times-bestselling All Souls Series—"a wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter and Twilight” (People).
Now “[a] hot show that’s like Twilight meets Outlander” (Thrillist) airing on AMC and BBC America, as well as streaming on Sundance Now and Shudder.
Deborah Harkness’s sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, has brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.
Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar's depth to this riveting tale of magic and suspense. The story continues in book two, Shadow of Night, book three, The Book of Life, and the fourth in the series, Time’s Convert.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Love, obsession, history, and science combine in the first book in Deborah Harkness’ thrilling All Souls trilogy. Diana Bishop—a whip-smart young scholar and a member of a distinguished family of witches—unearths an enchanted manuscript in a British university library. This discovery thrusts her into a murky underworld, where she joins forces with geneticist (and vampire!) Matthew Clairmont to keep the book out of evil hands. Actress Jennifer Ikeda brings an enchanting sense of wonder to Harkness’ magical settings; she’s also got just enough sultriness to sell Diana and Matthew’s burgeoning romance. Her delivery makes A Discovery of Witches a perfectly cozy nighttime listen.
Yes, it was a bit pricey at $29.95...but worth it. A wonderfully indulgent book. This book was brilliantly written, beautifully narrated, and has the kind of character depth that will no doubt blossom with future installments. While on the subject of future installments, I will say that a follow-up is in order and quickly! There are many resolutions left dangling and if Ms. Harkness' goal was to leave readers wanting, then I would be the first to say that she achieved that goal. I was inclined to purchase this audiobook because of another review comparing the book to the works of Ann Rice and I would have to agree with the comparison in the sense that there are so many historical references and supernatural characters. I would say that this book also calls to mind a bit of the more modern settings of Charlaine Harris without the cheesiness and cheekiness. Also the one thing I really love is that this book is targeted to a more sophisticated reader who would thoroughly enjoy a good supernatural suspense without any traces of teen angst or high school highjinks like Twilight or Harry Potter. I love a good supernatural fiction as much as the next person, but beyond a certain age, it looks a bit silly to be reading the books geared to younger readers which makes this book all the more pleasurable like slipping on your favorite and best fitting pair of jeans with sandals, and feeling the first warm day of spring that you just don't want to end. Cuddle up with a glass of wine and enjoy this one! Oh, if you are curious about the romantic elements, there are plenty of beautiful moments, but nothing too graphic and in certain moments of the story you almost wish they would go for it, but if this is only the beginning of the series then there is plenty of room to heat things up. Personally, I think it is too easy to just throw sex into the story to make it interesting and that more storyline is a good thing!
This book is immediately engaging. If you like the Twilight series but find Bella a bit naive and prone to swooning, you will be much happier with Diana Bishop. The historical precision and academic subject matter is reminiscent of Dan Brown's books. But unlike his books, A Discovery of Witches has a wonderful intertwined love story (told much better by Harkness than Brown and less syrupy than Twilight). You won't ever want it to end!
I want the Next Book!
First off, this is not a face paced, on the edge of your seat, book. It is a slow and steady read (listen). I found the story well played out. Her characters are smart, independent, and most importantly - they move with purpose. Not once did I think, "Well that was stupid" when a character makes a choice (unlike other characters who love vampiers). Diana Bishop is not a silly girl, nor does she spend the entire book telling us how good looking Matthew is. (can you tell I hated Twilight?) But this is not to say the story doesn't have flaws. It is slow to start and at times can drag a little. But overall, it is a good story about Love, Magic, and overcoming racial discrimination. The end of the book strongly suggests a second book to follow. I enjoyed the characters enough to want to read the next book because the story has great potential to be awesome! I really hope she writes it. The Narrator, Jennifer Ikeda was very good. Not a great deal of "acting" in her voice, but I didn't feel the story was demanding of voice "acting". She has a very pleasent voice and soothing - which made voiceing Matthew come out naturally. A good relaxing read.