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A Discovery of Witches

by Deborah Harkness

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: All Souls (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,401671651 (3.77)432
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.… (more)
  1. 235
    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Anonymous user, SunnySD)
    Anonymous user: Both are epic fantasy novels...time travel, mystery, unlikely love interests.
  2. 204
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (clamairy)
    clamairy: Similar themes of magic and academia.
  3. 151
    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (bnbookgirl)
  4. 20
    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (DowntownLibrarian)
    DowntownLibrarian: If you enjoy learning some history along with your fantasy....
  5. 31
    Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell (SunnySD)
    SunnySD: Scholarly heroines, mysterious goings on, and much time spent in libraries...
  6. 10
    The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones (debbiereads)
  7. 10
    The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (tralliott)
  8. 10
    The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen (Dariah)
  9. 21
    City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte (thenothing)
    thenothing: alchemy, time travel, romance, mystery
  10. 10
    Overseas by Beatriz Williams (rlb0616)
    rlb0616: No witches or vampires, but it does have time travel. Also, there are many similarities between the two male leads.
  11. 11
    A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter (Friederike.Geissler)
  12. 00
    Sunshine by Robin McKinley (lottpoet)
    lottpoet: magic users, demons and vampires aren't supposed to mix; an intense magic user-vampire relationship under extreme pressure
  13. 00
    This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar (lottpoet)
    lottpoet: intense fantastical love story
  14. 79
    Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (bookwyrmm)
  15. 1519
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (happyhinsons)
  16. 05
    Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott (Mumugrrl)
    Mumugrrl: Not the same kind of feel as A Discovery of Witches, but it does involve Oxford, alchemy and the ghost of Isaac Newton.
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» See also 432 mentions

English (660)  Dutch (3)  Hungarian (2)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (670)
Showing 1-5 of 660 (next | show all)
To be honest I only got through Chapter 7. I didn't really care for any of the character interactions and as soon as there was the classical 'male vampire breaking into a woman's house and creepily standing motionless watching her sleep' I fully lost interest. ( )
  awesomejen2 | Jun 21, 2022 |
This book appeared as very often in my Goodreads suggestions and, against my instinct, I gave in and bought it for the kindle.

The book is well written, and the story was interesting enough for me to have read it until the end. However, I am not the biggest fan of this type of fantasy, and I don't plan on reading the remaining books of the series.

I recommend this book for anyone who likes fantasy with witches, vampires, and time travel.
( )
  Sara_Machado | Jun 7, 2022 |
This book gave me another reason to regret having read that TERRIBLE Twilight series. Can't wait for the next one! ( )
  Carmentalie | Jun 4, 2022 |
I loved the world and character building in this book. I'm not sure I can add anything that hasn't been said. Most appreciated Harkness' richly detailed backgrounds. ( )
  Windyone1 | May 10, 2022 |
I am not sure if I truly like this book/ series or not yet. Too many similarities to Twilight, which I did like, but at the time was pretty original. In this book, we have a vampire in love with someone he is not alloowed to love and other creatures trying to keep them apart. There are other issues, too, and it is interesting. I will complete the series. I do like the character development and the fact that it is not only romance like Twilight basically was. There are other issues in the book that are quite intriguing. Am going to have to think on my review and possibly change things later. I ahve found sometimes, I like a book more after I have had some time to digest it. ( )
  KyleneJones | Apr 25, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 660 (next | show all)
"With books about fictional witches, it’s all too easy to fall back on tongue-in-cheek descriptors like “enchanting” or “spellbinding,” but both adjectives aptly describe the superbly entertaining saga Harkness has crafted. This is a riveting tale full of romance and danger that will have you on the edge of your seat, yet its chief strength lies in the wonderfully rich and ingenious mythology underlying the story. Entwining strands of science and history, Harkness creates a fresh explanation for how such creatures could arise that is so credible, you’ll have to keep reminding yourself this is fiction."
 
As will be obvious by now, this is a very silly novel. Characters and relationships are stereotyped. The historical background is a total pudding. The prose is terrible. And yet, the ideas have just enough suction, somehow, to present an undemanding reader with some nice frissons. I liked, for example, the way Diana tries to sublimate her magic powers in running and rowing and doing yoga – at a mixed vampire-witch-daemonic yoga class, participants struggle not to levitate during their vinyasas. And I liked the way Matthew and Diana smell to each other like Jo Malone candles: Diana is "horehound, frankincense, lady's mantle", Matthew is "cinnamon and clove".
 
"a thoroughly grown-up novel packed with gorgeous historical detail...Harkness writes with thrilling gusto about the magical world. Whether she's describing a yoga class for witches, daemons, and vampires or Diana's benignly haunted house, it's a treat to suspend disbelief. ... As the mysteries started to unravel, the pages turned faster, almost as if on their own. By the most satisfying end, Harkness had made me a believer.
 
"a romantic, erudite, and suspenseful first novel by Deborah Harkness. The first in a planned trilogy, it sets up blood drinkers and spell weavers as enemies for eternity in a feud as old as the Crusades; the duo confront social disapproval and intolerance as they elude evildoers and puzzle out enigmas throughout history. ...Harkness attends to every scholarly and emotional detail with whimsy, sensuality, and humor.
 
The protagonist is a witch. Her beau is a vampire. If you accept the argument that we’ve seen entirely too many of both kinds of characters in contemporary fiction, then you’re not alone. Yet, though Harkness seems to be arriving very late to a party that one hopes will soon break up, her debut novel has its merits; she writes well, for one thing, and, as a historian at the University of Southern California, she has a scholarly bent that plays out effectively here.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Dec 15, 2010)
 

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harkness, Deborahprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Belanger, FrancescaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goretsky, TalCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ikeda, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.
Dedication
For Lexie and Jake, and their bright futures.
First words
The leather-bound volume was nothing remarkable.
Quotations
The King just sits there, moving one square at time. The queen can move so freely. I suppose I'd rather lose the game than forfeit her freedom.
´Normal`is a bedtime story - a fable - that humans tell themselves to feel better when faced with overwhelming evidence that most of what's happening around them is not ´normal`at all.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Discovering a magical manuscript in Oxford's library, scholar Diana Bishop, a descendant of witches who has rejected her heritage, inadvertently unleashes a fantastical underworld of daemons, witches and vampires whose activities center around an enchanted treasure." - NoveList Plus
Haiku summary
Witches, vampires
and daemons all want to read
book on alchemy.
(passion4reading)

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Deborah Harkness is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Rating

Average: (3.77)
0.5 18
1 127
1.5 16
2 228
2.5 36
3 510
3.5 151
4 910
4.5 100
5 856

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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