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A Discovery of Witches Audiobook

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

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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 (161 )
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4.2 (136 )
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4.4 (135 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Anna 01-11-17
    Anna 01-11-17 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    2
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    "Amazing"

    Easily one of my favorite books to listen to! The narrator is amazing!! So amazing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicola 03-06-16
    Nicola 03-06-16
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    29
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    Story
    "So much promise, so disappointing."

    With such and intriguing set up, I can't believe I sat through over 20 hours of Twilight-esque waffling and no resolution.
    The narrator did a very nice job of all the accents and characters but this book was way too fey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josie 04-08-15
    Josie 04-08-15 Member Since 2015

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Simon Innaloo, Australia 02-19-13
    Simon Innaloo, Australia 02-19-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Started well but got lost"
    What did you like best about A Discovery of Witches? What did you like least?

    Started ok but the story just petiered out


    What was most disappointing about Deborah Harkness’s story?

    It's ending just stopped as it was getting interesting again


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

    Good vocal skills nicely read


    Did A Discovery of Witches inspire you to do anything?

    No not really may be read the scores and reviews more clearly


    Any additional comments?

    I really don't think I want to read the second book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosalee Baltimore, MD 11-05-12
    Rosalee Baltimore, MD 11-05-12
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    1
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    "A fun listen"
    Would you listen to A Discovery of Witches again? Why?

    Yes, the story is fun and I liked the mystery, even if the writing wasn't particularly good.


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

    A bit like Twilight for the scholarly type. The comparison is a bit unfair bc in general I think this book is better written than Twilight, but it does share the whole vampire-stud motif (although Matthew is a much more complex and real character than Edward Cullen).


    If you could take any character from A Discovery of Witches out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Matthew, just to hear his life story


    Any additional comments?

    Any Oxford student, tutor, or alumni would cringe at how Harkness likes to just drop in place names for no apparent reason. And the narrator, Ikeda, mispronounces Magdalen (the first clue for an Oxford outsider). Although as a former member of New College, I did like that my college was showcased so prominently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HDJ 10-23-12
    HDJ 10-23-12 Member Since 2016
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    "The Discovery of an Editor might have helped!"

    A Discovery of Witches contains the outline of an interesting story but desperately needs a ruthless editor. The plot has definite potential. I found Elias Ashmole and the manuscript Ashmole 782 really interesting and I loved the house where Diana's Aunt Sarah lived. However, in the end A Discovery of Witches becomes quite simply a romance (and not even a very good one). It is repetitive, at times boring, frequently annoying and full of cliches. And yet ... I kept listening (the narrator is very good). I hoped it would get better. It never did. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I felt compelled to read the next book. I think I gave Harkness a second chance because I was still interested in the world that she was trying to create. Unfortunately, the second in this trilogy (Shadow of Night) was also a book of lost potential. I won't be trying the third.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Hawkins Auckland, New Zealand 08-13-12
    Ann Hawkins Auckland, New Zealand 08-13-12 Member Since 2012

    Short fuse

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An absolute gem!"
    What did you love best about A Discovery of Witches?

    Intelligent writing, thoroughly researched yet keeping a constant pace through the story.


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

    Perhaps some of the Diana Gabaldon books may come close.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the scenes in the Bodleian, so much tension amongst those dusty tomes in the sphere of academe!


    If you could take any character from A Discovery of Witches out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Matthew for sure. He'd be educational and sexy at the same time, what a combination!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a class act and it was a pleasure to hear it read by a reader with such a gift for appreciating the prose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Interesting and Different"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Discovery of Witches to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    It wasn't just about vampiral sexual exploits which made a nice difference.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Most of it was good although I liked it when Dianna fell into Mathews arms at the library for the first time.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Vampire bewitched


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. K. Skarbek Australia 07-30-12
    Mrs. K. Skarbek Australia 07-30-12
    ratings
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    16
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    Story
    "Fun Journey Through The Supernatural World"
    Where does A Discovery of Witches rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audio books I've listened to. Second only to the True Blood series for content and performance by the narrator.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the premise of the story - a story about a historian and witch who doesn't want to use her (immense) powers meets enigmatic vampire and sets about changing supernatural laws whilst trying to discover the whereabouts of an important manuscript that could change all of their lives forever.<br/><br/>Characters are interesting - storyline is intruiging and even though it can be a little predicable in places, it's unusual enough the rest of the time to keep your interest.<br/><br/>Best part about this story so far though is the awesome narration. The narrator is an amazing actor and does flawless accents (including English and French!) which really adds depth and flavour to the book.<br/><br/>Really, really enjoyable to listen to! I recommend this book and am looking forward to listening to the sequel.


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

    My favourite character so far is, strangely, Isabeau. Small part (as yet) but I just loved the accented characterisation.


    Who was the most memorable character of A Discovery of Witches and why?

    The most memorable character for me is definitely the protagonist, Diana. As the story develops and she discovers more and more about her powers, she becomes more interesting. She's feisty, independent, very intelligent and a very powerful witch. In a supernatural story, it doesn't get much better.


    Any additional comments?

    Love the book and looking forward to the next installment. Read it. It's lots of fun!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen Christchurch, New Zealand 07-23-12
    karen Christchurch, New Zealand 07-23-12

    Hot romance/Sci Fi we're so lucky to have Audible to feed our book addictions. I love walking my precious dog Sydney & listening to my books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Had to give a five star all round"

    This was a very enjoyable and gripping listen. The story is captivating and keeps you in it's grips. The characters are addictive and added perfectly. The narrator does an excellent job with her soothing smooth voice and portrays all characters very well. I am of to read the next in this stimulating series. Thanks Deborah, a fabulous job all round :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Mallory
    4/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mills and Boon with vampires"

    Ok, so to be fair I've never actually read an M&B novel, but that's the best way I can sum it up. Started out with an interesting premise and a strong and capable tea obsessed female protagonist, but as others have said, she dissolves into a swooning wimp as soon as the vampire shows up. Nothing much happens and it's all a bit dull. Won't be bothering with the rest of the series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Birgitta
    ALDEBURGH, United Kingdom
    5/7/12
    Overall
    "Disappointing End to This Book"

    The book starts of charmingly but the plot gets to difficult and the author has nowhere to go but to have an unsatisfactory open ending. Is she planning a second book to finish the story?

    Well read by Jennifer Ikeda

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. D. V. Carruthers
    London
    6/5/11
    Overall
    "A 24 hour long overture."

    Painful.
    On the positive side: The characters are quite good and after the book was finished I was actually quite interested to know what happened to them
    On the negative side: As other's have said NOTHING HAPPENS. It's basically a 24 hour scene setting for the next book. When it stopped I immediately checked my library as I thought I hadn't downloaded the final part. Unfortunately as I've given up 24 hours listening to the intro it's very likely that I'll listen to the next one whenever it comes out as it can't surely be as slow as this one. Can it?
    My wife is listening to it now and she has exactly the same comments. 18 hours in and still waiting for it to 'start'.
    Should compress all this in the first 3 hours then write the rest of a decent book.

    Plus the *worst* scottish accent I've ever heard that nearly ruined the book for me.

    In summary: 3 hours of action spread across 24 hours, but if you make it to the end, you'll probably want to read the next one whenever it appears.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • C. Osborn
    Hampshire, England
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Much more than a teen romance"
    What made the experience of listening to A Discovery of Witches the most enjoyable?

    I started the book thinking it was going to be a teen romance of the Twilight ilk, but it was so much more than that. I found the characters genuinely engaging and the story really moving at times. In the end I was trying to find every available moment to listen to the story and hear what happened next.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The historical and literary references which were well researched and added an informative dimension to the book.


    Did Jennifer Ikeda do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    The accents were a little dodgy to be honest but she read it with feeling.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs E
    7/22/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Have read this book twice already but to hear it read was just simply amazing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing happens..."

    The narration was really good and I found the author easy to listen too. The story has loads of excellent ingredients and gets you interested pretty quickly but the main Diana comes off as too Damsel in Distress in a tedious way pretty quickly when she starts off strong and assertive. Matthew is controlling and their romance, up to chapter 19 isnt romantic in the least. I read the reviews in the hope it picked up and the story started, but alas, according to others this was as good as it got so I gave up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carmen Gorgie
    6/20/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Fabulous Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I was spell bound from the first word. As I listened I became so involved I was there. <br/>It accompanied me through every daily boring task transporting me to another place and another time. Brilliant


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

    Not read any others yet


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

    No not yet


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

    Unfortunately not possible


    Any additional comments?

    Cannot wait to start the next one

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Llanelli, United Kingdom
    5/7/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Discovery of Witches to be better than the print version?

    HAving not read the printed version I cannot answer. This audible version I have thorughly enjoyed, took me a couple of chapters to get into it but was then thoroughly hooked.


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

    Lovely narration, seems to drag you in with her voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A few places actually reduced me to tears which rarely happens which I have put down to good writing and good narration.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to get the next in the series :) My only complaint is there are some rather long pauses between chapters which I find highly annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharon
    3/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a beautiful book"

    I loved this story. Harry Potter for grown women who love fantasy . There are interesting historical features and fascinating futurist facets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    1/25/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sensational"

    I enjoy the trilogy and have lost count of how many times I've read them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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