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A Discovery of Witches Audiobook

A Discovery of Witches: The All Souls Trilogy, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (145 )
5 star
 (78)
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Overall
4.2 (124 )
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Story
4.4 (122 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Antonia
    NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
    4/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Historical Romance with Bite"
    Would you listen to A Discovery of Witches again? Why?

    I first read and then listened to this book. It works on many levels. It fulfils the criteria of vampire romance but with a main female character who has strength and powers of her own. She does not need to become vampire and is accomplished academic rather than mooning teenager. It also uses the genre to explore history and culture across continents and millennia. Histories of literature, science, alchemy and faith are interwoven with modern genetics and exploration of prejudice. Sometimes the detail becomes too ponderous and I find many of the ensemble of diverse characters more complex and intriguing than the main male character. However, this is generally well crafted and well-performed writing.

    I also like a long read / listen I can get my teeth into, or escape into while I commute or do housework etc. I returned to this work because, even after knowing the outcome (so far) diluted the suspense and romance, other layers of story, characters, time and place still unfold. It is, like the Bodleian Library the story opens in, full of journeys of thought and imagination.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is rather long to listen to in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    I've listened to the sequel, which is almost as good and have the final in the trilogy on pre-order.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. T. B. Carnall
    Wales, UK
    4/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story telling with new twists on old theme"
    What made the experience of listening to A Discovery of Witches the most enjoyable?

    The narrative was engaging and I while it took me a little while to get 'into' once there I was totally hooked.


    Any additional comments?

    A great listen with some riveting passages. One of those books which you don't want to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gillian
    Basildon, United Kingdom
    3/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling Read"
    Would you listen to A Discovery of Witches again? Why?

    I have already listened to this audio book twice as it was such a good story I didn't get enough of it the first time round. I loved it so much that as soon as I had finished listening to it, I bought the follow up!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It is very hard to choose a favorite character because they are all so brilliantly written that you empathise with them all. If I had to choose, I couldn't just choose one, it would be the two main characters Diana and Matthew, but Matthew's Mother and her helper come a close third and fourth.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Again, there are too many to be able to pick just one. The story is written so well that I was totally immersed in the lives of the characters and in their lives and loves. I was so disappointed when it came to an end but then I discovered, to my joy, that there is a follow up book which I have immediately purchased and can't wait to start listening to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely yes, but would be impossible. You absolutely get your money's worth in purchasing this book and, even with listening to it every spare minute I had, it still took me a week to get through it!


    Any additional comments?

    A well written, brilliantly thought out story which has you gripped from the start. Well read by a very accomplished actress who plants each character into your head so that you feel you know them. Bravo to the writer and the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Barry
    Tiptree, United Kingdom
    3/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Romance in Fantasy land..........."
    What did you like most about A Discovery of Witches?

    The plot is fascinating, you start in the Bodleian in Oxford UK, and progress through France to The USA, all the time enjoying a budding relationship between the heroine, a witch, and the hero, a vampire!!!
    This relationship breaks all the rules of their world, and they are pursued by deadly witches and vampires!!!!!!

    But the story is masterfully written and is virtually impossible to put down.

    I would recommend this to anyone as a fabulous read, and wait til you read the sequel!!!!!
    The second book, Shadow of night is as stirring as the relationship flowers into marriage and the hazards follow our hero and heroine throughout Europe and the USA,
    The final volume is released this summer (2014).
    A brilliant read for anyone!!!!!


    What other book might you compare A Discovery of Witches to, and why?

    The Arthurian Legends, magic, danger, knights, damsels in distress, wonderful stories!!!!!


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The scene in the Bodleian where the witches powers are first revealed, Diana Bishop, the witch!!!!!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The book title says it all!!!!!


    Any additional comments?

    I would put a 15 rating on the story as some of the scenes are unsuitable for young children.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suzy GM
    2/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely brilliant!"
    Where does A Discovery of Witches rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Just about the best I have listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Combined history with the present, wonderful characterisation, just magical.


    Have you listened to any of Jennifer Ikeda’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to Jennifer before but will look for other books read by her. She is very good with languages and portrays male and female voices brilliantly.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Oh very definitely! I was there in the book at all times so did indeed laugh and cry.


    Any additional comments?

    I have always given books about witches a wide berth as I usually find them boring. This book is far from boring, the richness of the characters and amazing narrative bring this excellent book to life.
    We'll done cannot wait to read the next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farnborough Karl
    Farnborough UK
    1/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tedious and soporiphic"
    What would have made A Discovery of Witches better?

    A plot line that captured the reader/listener would have helped, as it stands you are better off listening to the talking clock


    Would you ever listen to anything by Deborah Harkness again?

    No


    What about Jennifer Ikeda’s performance did you like?

    I didnt.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom and disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Avoid like a rabid dog

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    1/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More than just Romeo and Juliet"

    This started off really slowly, so much so, that I nearly gave up on it, but DON'T, because it kicks off after about 5 hours and you'll love it.

    I think the intriguing thing for me was that you know there are no such things as witches, vampires, demons etc, but the amount of detail the author has gone into describing their world and histories is so believable that you get swept up in the story and end up accepting it wholeheartedly. From a geeky point of view I enjoyed the medical side, DNA analysis etc; and of course there is the romantic side for the sentimental listeners.

    Basic plot, witch and vampire fall in love but everyone is against them getting together - why?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Janet
    London, United Kingdom
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Discovery of Witches to be better than the print version?

    I really enjoyed this audio book, I couldn't imagine reading it, the narrator really bought the characters to life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I really enjoyed the whole book, not one particular scene.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Could it really be possible...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • S. Harding
    UK
    12/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wanted to listen more than once!"
    If you could sum up A Discovery of Witches in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, soothing, relaxing


    What did you like best about this story?

    Different spin on a over egged vampire witch story


    Which character – as performed by Jennifer Ikeda – was your favourite?

    Marcus


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted a book that I could have on in the background and that I would want to lsiten to more than once. These may be simple wishes, but it is amazing how hard it can be to ofind a book that statifies these requirements. This book does both. The narration is clear and engaging, but soothing to follow, whilst there are sufficient intricacies to the story line to make me listen and relisten picking up small bits of additional delight each time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    Croydon, United Kingdom
    12/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "On a whim"
    What did you like most about A Discovery of Witches?

    I have read several vampire, werewolves and witches books but this one was certainly top of the list of those read. I love the plot, the pace and the characters. It had me gripped...I listened while washing up, cooking, cleaning and even turned the radio off in the car to listen when it was too good to put down!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the way the characters were developed. None of this mushy love story, fall in love at first sight. The way it is written makes you want to read on to see how their relationship develops.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This was definitely a book, I couldn't put down.


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to the audio version of this book and chose it on a whim...it was cheap!

    I am frustrated by the ending...only because the second one in the series is not so cheap!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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