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A Discovery of Witches: The All Souls Trilogy, Book 1 | [Deborah Harkness]

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 (137 )
5 star
 (76)
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 (39)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
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Overall
4.3 (118 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.4 (116 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Eleanor Sydney, Australia 04-30-12
    Eleanor Sydney, Australia 04-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    "Wonderful book"

    Absolutely adored this book. Erudite, dripping with history, wonderful and funny writing - could not put it down. The whole idea of the book is fascinating - make you look at people and on the street and wonder "Are they........?" Will not spoil it, but her theory could explain why psychiatry does not really work all the time!! The narrator Jennifer Ikeda was excellent....was able to do a variety of accents - a very creditable Australian accent, which so few seem able to manage, French (ancient and modern) and a Glaswegian accent!!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GinnysHex Stretton, Australia 10-05-11
    GinnysHex Stretton, Australia 10-05-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    8
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    "Wonderful"

    I read the book before I bought the audiobook and though I enjoyed the book greatly I love the audiobook even more. I loved the different accents Jennifer Ikeda did for the characters and I hope that when Deborah Harkness finishes and release the next book that Jennifer Ikeda will do the next one as well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    zoe Australia 03-21-11
    zoe Australia 03-21-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    8
    1
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    "Mesmirising characters and story"

    This was the first book i have listened to by Deborah Harkness. I had no expectations, and i have been pleasantly surprised. I love the way the story melds together modern life and witchcraft with strong romance between the 2 main characters. The only negative about the audiobook is the narrator, which is a small negative and is easily forgotten about when drawn into the story, unfortunately she changes her pitch in quite unexpected places where its not necessary. All in all its an intriguing story, I definitely recommend it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rae Meandarra, Australia 04-28-12
    Rae Meandarra, Australia 04-28-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    181
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    77
    63
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    Story
    "Loved it."
    Any additional comments?

    Narration was excellent. Like to list narration first as it can make or break a story.

    Love the story and will be looking forward to the next installment.

    I really enjoy it when readers with similar reading interests list their favourite authors and series. It really helps me find new authors too follow. Mine are Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost, Jennifer Estep, Faith Hunter, Molly Harper, Ilona Andrews, Kresley Cole, Deborah Harkness, Nalini Singh.

    Happy Reading

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline 04-04-12
    Caroline 04-04-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Only stopped listening to sleep!"
    Any additional comments?

    This is the first time I felt I needed to write about any of the books I have listened to and I have been listening to audio books for four years, now it seems I am lost for words. This is a highly addictive story with full characters that you will become attached too. Jennifer Ikeda spins the story with beauty and care making it difficult to stop listening even when I was falling asleep. I cannot wait for the next book to continue this amazing journey.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Dunlop, Australia 04-25-11
    Melissa Dunlop, Australia 04-25-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    18
    4
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    "More More More"

    Loved the story. Loved the narrator. This is my first Deborah Harkness book....come on Audible, we need more of this author!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lizzy Ocean Grove, Australia 12-19-11
    Lizzy Ocean Grove, Australia 12-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    Story
    "Not normally my cup of team but ...."

    This is not something I would normally bother with. Vampires and witches - really! However, I really did enjoy this book very much. The story wasn't predictable and the characters were almost human.

    I particularly liked the conflict between the different creatures. Similar to prejudices we face in real life with race and culture. The moral is that nothing is too great that it can't be overcome.

    Highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Lennox Head, Australia 10-21-11
    Tracey Lennox Head, Australia 10-21-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    105
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    Story
    "Interesting but not captivating"

    I love a good vampire story, and although this was an original take, it did not live up to my expectations! Jennifer Ikeda's voice could have been more expressive. I got the impression of straight faces and serious expressions even when they were supposed to be happy! I loved the idea of the book, Ashmore 783 but the love story got priority. It got a little more interesting toward the end but I doubt I will bother with the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Warrawee, Australia 06-23-11
    Linda Warrawee, Australia 06-23-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    33
    3
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    "Great"

    I loved listening to this story. The open ended final chapter leaves plenty of scope for a sequel...........please!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josie Australia 04-08-15
    Josie Australia 04-08-15 Member Since 2011

    Well now of coarse I am 65, but still a great fan of Audible

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    "If I could give more stars I would!"

    Dragonfly in Amber meets Dracula,
    and boy it's a good tale. I have already purchased the rest of the trilogy in anticipation. I just cannot wait to read them either, I have only got 20 minutes left of A discovery of Witches and I know despite the length of these books I will read them one after another. This tale is so involving, normally I am not a reader of anything that smacks of romance, but this one has me. I have gone up and down with the characters and cannot wait to see what happens next. The narrator is really good, she does not make it syrupy sweet so my gag reflex is not in any danger. So if you like Witches and you like paranormal (which is not something I enjoy normally so tit is a complete break in tradition for me) this book will keep you happy for at least 24 hours. I bet you get the other two books as well, just to see how the story goes, well I hope you do, because you will be missing out on a really good story if you don't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Irene Paulton
    Scotland
    1/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Craig
    1/11/15
    Overall
    "Ok..."

    Just not a lot going on in it !! But the writer has a way with words I like, so it's ok

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    United Kingdom
    1/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really enjoyed"

    I've really enjoyed listening to this. It's helped pass the time :-) only problem with this is the narrator who can't do accents but that's a small problem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • N
    Bradford, W Yorks, United Kingdom
    12/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A discovery indeed..."
    Where does A Discovery of Witches rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Around the 7/10 mark


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

    Not sure I can. I usually read sci-if, SK, and 'boys' fantasy. This caught my eye because of the blurb in the book screen and I took a chance. Book 2/3 drag a little in places, but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole series.


    What does Jennifer Ikeda bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Some interesting characterisations. For an American, her attempts at British accents are not bad :).


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

    I laughed in book three, not in this one. I was intrigued all the way through this (and the other two)


    Any additional comments?

    I might try another Harkness book now (though only because I would have the option to return it if it became too girly - she is far better than Freda Warrington, another author I took a chance on). Her writing style is well thought out, she has obviously thoroughly researched the topics in the book and the story holds together very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. Sally Moores
    UK
    11/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved every minute of it"
    What made the experience of listening to A Discovery of Witches the most enjoyable?

    This was a great book to listen too - I love long stories and this did not disappoint! I loved the way the historical detail was woven into the story but without being boring and deflecting from the tale, (which it often can be).


    Any additional comments?

    When it finished I could hardly wait to download the 2nd book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beccy
    10/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent adult read!"

    An intelligently written story that hooks you very quickly and provides hours of intrigued listening. I took a 'long' cut home just to eek out a few more minutes listening time and my house has never been so clean! Throughly recommend this book if your looking for something more captivating and mature in the fantasy genre. Can't wait to get stuck in to the next book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • pene
    10/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning book beautifully read"
    What made the experience of listening to A Discovery of Witches the most enjoyable?

    The atmosphere the reader brought my favourite book to life in glorious colour. The expression and depth of the story and the characters is heard clearly


    What did you like best about this story?

    The colourful use of words made the English language alive and gave the characters a heart beat; with the exception of Matthew


    What does Jennifer Ikeda bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Jennifer gave the characters identities by her tone and emotion


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Derek
    9/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"
    What made the experience of listening to A Discovery of Witches the most enjoyable?

    Enjoyable, captivating, from the start to finish, 24 hours of pure entertainment.


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

    I enjoyed all the characters but Isabel stuck in my mind, as well as the main characters.


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

    Yes, and even when wife was watching telly


    Any additional comments?

    Please please more books

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • kataryna brighty
    9/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Modern day possibility"
    Would you listen to A Discovery of Witches again? Why?

    It's a great start to a trilogy the character are likeable, read this made you want the next books Diana the witch that does not want to be a witch, vampire who want a book, together they make a great story with so great character pulled in to help


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Discovery of Witches?

    When Diana taken by another witch


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

    Well read great tone in her voice easy listening


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

    They are all around us


    Any additional comments?

    This would make a great film

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ruby
    9/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Truly wonderful"
    What made the experience of listening to A Discovery of Witches the most enjoyable?

    The story twist and turns in wonderful detail with a lovely hit of history


    What did you like best about this story?

    The rivalry between the different species


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

    yes a real 'page turner'


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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