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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Helen
  • 02-11-15

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.

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  • Irene Paulton
  • 01-19-15

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.

  • Overall
  • Craig
  • 01-11-15

Ok...

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

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  • Rachel
  • 01-07-15

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.

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  • N
  • 12-03-14

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.

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  • Mrs. Sally Moores
  • 11-27-14

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!

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  • Creative Butterfly
  • 10-27-14

Forget what you already know about Vampires

Diana is a witch who has denied it for years. Mathew is a vampire that can; go out into daylight with no problem, does not need to drink blood from humans to survive and is certainly not afraid of Churches.

This book about witches and vampires is definitely not the norm. It has scholars, history and a missing book.

I am writing this review after listening to all 3 books and all I can say is, my time could not have been better spent. All 3 are great books that make you warm to the characters the more time you spend with them, A work of fiction and a work of Art.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Beccy
  • 10-19-14

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!

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  • pene
  • 10-05-14

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

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  • Derek
  • 09-20-14

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