An epic, richly inventive, historically sweeping, magical romance.
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 genticist. 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....
©2011 Deborah Harkness (P)2011 Deborah Harkness
"Intelligent and off-the-wall, it will be irresistible to Twilight fans." (The Sunday Times)
"Write what you know, debut novelists are told and Professor Deborah Harkness has accordingly set hers in the world of academia…. A bubbling cauldron of illicit desire…. all the ingredients for an assured saga that blends romance with fantasy." (Daily Mail)
"A romp through magical academia." (Guardian)
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"Audio let down by the author's accent."
Good story but I had trouble with the reader's accent and voice. I will always listen to the preview before buying in future.
"American nasal whine"
This book is set in England story is fantastic.
I just can't stand the American nasal whine of the reader I didn't even get past the first sentence. Won't be buying any of the others I'll read the books instead. What a waste!
"One of my favourite series to date!"
I was looking for something a bit different in the supernatural genre and I was not disappointed with this read! I loved every second of it. The characters are great, especially Diana who is the furthest thing from the stereotypical female you usually find in this genre. She is both athletic and incredibly smart and mentions of her looks are kept to a minimum which I found really refreshing.
"Stunningly intricate and captivating story"
The detail in this story is delightful. A beautifully narrated tale of an ordinary academic and her tall, dark, handsome stranger. All this set against a contemporary 21st century background peppered with historical fact and wickan fiction intricately entwined.
"Great book, excellent performance"
I have not read the printed version so cannot comment
I loved them all!
I don't think I have heard her read anything else, but she portrays the characters well, although her Scottish accent is a little weak - not that it mattered at all.
It has been a long time since I found a book that I literally could not put down! I listen on my commute, which is 45 minutes each way, and I found that 90 minutes a day was just not long enough! I began listening at night, but that was causing me sleepless nights as I never wanted to switch it off......I thought it was a charming story - definite echos of Romeo and Juliette, but incorporating magic and other 'creatures' in an original way - I felt the same way listening to this book as I did the first time I read the Harry Potter books - very original and really captured my imagination. The only downside is that I did not realise that the story continues..I should have read the title more carefully! Had I known, I would have rationed my listening and made it last the month - I have had to buy extra credits to buy the next book, but at least I am looking forward to my journey into work!
I like to roll through a series at one time. It produces a better clarity of the authors vision.I will "read" each book in turn to see if any point the story really bombs. If it has that sort of disaster I will not repeat a full "read" through. So any repeat "read" is only provisional until I've heard the rest of the series.
Deborah has produced some interesting premises in her story. Her other 2 novels are not my genre. Being a scientist I'm not interested in a dramatisation of scientific knowledge.When she again writes something that fits within my genre interests I will happily "read" it.
Honestly I cannot say if I have heard this narrators work before, although she made pronunciation mistakes she did not hit my pet hate that means I will pay attention to who the narrator is, and become reluctant to listen to any other narration they perform
When a narrator pronounces lives [either 'gives' as the pronunciation guide.or as 'i've' as guide} in the wrong context, it shows a complete failure to understand what they read.
When that happens it can be terribly distracting listening for a sentence being completely wrong and changing the whole novel.. I easily accept pronunciation mistakes for places or people. It's a fantasy. It may be pronounced that way in their world. Grammatical mistakes are not forgivable. they change the story,
In this case Jennifer gave a good performance, with only forgivable mistakes. she spoke clearly and applied feeling to the narration. I will be happy to listen to further work she produces.Thank you Jennifer it was a pleasant rendition.
There were far to many places and these were too long to pin down a particular moment
The ending of the book was too open. There was no suspense or closure to the end. It felt as if it was meant to be a book 1 and book 2 between the same cover.I liked the first person heroine and second person for everyone else use. It really reflected the hidden and the secrets aspect of plot
Loved this story and can't wait to read the rest...never read a Deborah Harkness book before but I will definitely keep an eye out for her other novels. Story was well written and read, loved the characters and was carried along with them through each chapter
"brilliant novel- good narrator"
love this series read it before but wanted to try it on audio book. narrator was quite good at the different accents although a few were a little questionable but this was more amusing and it wasn't as bad in my opinion as other reviewers had suggested. would recommend and will probably listen to this version again. :)
"Excellent, a real surprise."
I wasn't expecting to be so enthralled by this story, I am so glad the next two books are available, so I can continue on with Mathew & Diana's adventure.
After being spoiled by the quality writing and research of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, I struggled to find another book to fill the void of my audio book library. This book is well written and has an intriguing storyline with some unexpected twists and turns. The narrator was excellent.
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