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4.0 

A Discovery of Witches

By Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Book one of the New York Times bestselling All Souls series, from the author of The Black Bird Oracle.

“A wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter and Twilight” (People).


Look for the hit series “A Discovery of Witches,” now streaming on AMC+, 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.

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4743 Reviews

4.0
Beaming Face with Smiling Eyes
Characters change and growMulti-layered charactersDescriptive writingOriginal writingImmersive settingMagical setting
Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingAddictiveUnpredictableDark settingMagical settingRealistic settingRomantic
“This book had all the ingredients to be a story I love, history, magic, romance, however, I finished with a strange taste in my mouth and a shiver of disappointment. Starting the book, I felt I had an understanding of where the story may be going due to the set up of a strong, accomplished female main character and an intriguing interplay of history and magic. Unfortunately, the story ended up being a twilight-esque ‘romance’ with a confusing magical sub plot and half baked side characters. The author tried hard not to set up the lead as a damsel in distress (she outright says that she is not a few times throughout the book), but this fails in action. The main character is saved again and again by her ancient vampire amour, leading me to dislike both characters overall. The setting and life of the heroine in which the book begins seemed a promising world to build upon, but it quickly dissolves into mess of magic and characters that do not align with her original beliefs and values. She changes on a fundamental level within a very short period of time, making it hard to believe her as a narrator. There was also a lot of unnecessary descriptors and menial scenes that could have been cut from the story to help the flow. We really don’t need to know exactly how many glasses of wine Matthew consumed or that Diana was finishing up the dishes twelve times in the last few chapters. All this to be said, the historical aspects of this book (as well as the ending) kept me intrigued, and I regret to say that I may read the sequel to be able to explore another period of time in hopes that the things that annoyed me in the this book may be improved. I may just be a masochist though…yet to be discovered.”

About Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls series, which includes A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, The Book of Life, Time's Convert, and The Black Bird Oracle. A history professor at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. She lives in Los Angeles.

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