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Synopsis

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

Book Reviews

A Discovery of Witches
Average rating
4.4 / 5
Entertaining, rich, but slow-paced
November 23rd, 2015
The story and its characters are rich, but there are times were the pace feels too slow, leaving you longing for SOMETHING to happen, rather than going through another chapter devoted to a dinner taking 30 minutes to read through. The chosen topics are original and refreshing (the manuscript), aside perhaps from the overly common vampire forbidden love story that fills up the later parts of the book.
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1 review
A Discovery Of Witches
January 29th, 2015
Oh my gosh this is an amazing book love the story line and I want a house like this can't wait for the next book
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1 review
Discovery Witches LOVED
January 20th, 2015
Loved the unexpected twists. This was fast moving and couldn't put it down until finished, then wanted more so bought the next 2 in the series.
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1 review
A Discovery of Witches: A Novel
January 13th, 2015
This is second time to read this book, as I prepare to read the second and third installments of this trilogy. Exceptional as before.
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1 review
Spellbound
December 18th, 2014
I couldnt put this book down, every page kept me enthalled. I njoyed reading Deboak Harkness as much as Diana Galbadons Outlander novels. I highly recommend this book.
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1 review
Good
October 14th, 2014
Reminiscent of Twilight. Very entertaining. There were a few parts that dragged on a bit long but over all a good read. I look forward to the next book.
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1 review
Fantastic read
October 13th, 2014
Very well written; a perfect combination of detail and action. Interesting and mature characters, much more than a teen fantasy. Great for those interested in history as well as fantasy and a little bit of romance. Would recommend for young adults as well as older adults looking for a fun and engaging read .
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1 review
Fantastic read!
August 18th, 2014
I couldn't put it down!!!! I can't wait to read the second book!!
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1 review
A Discovery of Witches
August 16th, 2014
Mesmerizing. Didn't want to put it down. Can't wait to start book 2
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1 review
literata
August 9th, 2014
Horrible book. Avoid it at all costs.
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1 review
Loved it!!
August 2nd, 2014
What a great book. Characters and story are well developed.
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1 review
Awesome!
August 1st, 2014
I loved the book it was the kind of book I normally read and it makes me anticipate the next one
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1 review
A Discovery of Witches
July 30th, 2014
Fantastic! Can't wait for book 2.
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1 review
Discovery of a great story.
July 25th, 2014
I was apprehensive about this book seeing as how there seems to be a glut of Twilight and Hunger Games like books and movies. I want to thank Ms Harkness for writing this and giving me hope for more. I'm looking forward to reading Shadow of Night and Book of Life. I hope she keeps going and impressing me even more so, great story.
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1 review
Wonderful
July 24th, 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed this first installation.
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1 review
A Discovery of Witches
July 21st, 2014
Just read this for the third time. Next up Shadow of Night, in anticipation of The Book of Life, the final book in the trilogy. Love these books!
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1 review
Third Time Around
June 20th, 2014
This is the third time I've read this book and I still love it as much as the first time
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1 review
Disappointed
February 24th, 2014
This book was trying too hard to be an adult twilight. Yet another main character that makes women cringe. The "trilogy" of books is a cheap excuse to explain a lazy ending. Avoid.
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1 review
A Discovery of Witches
February 23rd, 2014
An excellent book. I am rereading the first and second while awaiting the release of book 3 this summer, July 2014!
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1 review
Inspired.
February 9th, 2014
This book quickly became one of my favorites. The concept behind the book is wonderful; it brings a new twist to old legends and asks the question... What have you been ignoring in your everyday life...? I have recommended this book to countless others and will continue to do so. Can't wait for the 3rd to come out.
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1 review
Discovery of witches
February 2nd, 2014
Great read & terrific story!
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1 review
Great read
February 2nd, 2014
I will recommend to others. Great read. Looking forward to sequel.
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2 reviews
Great read
February 2nd, 2014
I will recommend to others. Great read. Looking forward to sequel.
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2 reviews
January 25th, 2014
Amazingly addictive......could not put it down.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
This series is a fun read. It has mystery, suspense, humour and an impossible love story which all takes place around super natural walks of life in modern times. I like the fact that the principal players are high achieving doctorates and the story unfolds in and around Oxford University. The crazy witch Aunts are very entertaining along with their House with a mind of its own. Just starting the 2nd book in the series. Highly recommend giving it a try.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
If you like paranormal and time travel, what more can a person say. It is fast moving, cannot put it done book. I cannot wait for the movie to be made. Also looking forward to the third book. Deborah Harkness is a entertaining author. Bravo!
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I loved it! It was very creative . There has been a lot of vampire books lately so its nice to read something that had a bit of everything ( demons, witches, vampires)
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Was pleasantly surprised with this book! Love the character development and the overall plot. It is so imaginative and has so much more substance than some of the other books I've read in this genre. Read this book!
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
A terrific twist on the vampire love craze. Lots of reference to historical events and people to keep you intrigued by Matthew's past.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
By far one of my favorite books. I could not put this book down. I was thrilled to find out that this was the first book of a series. I love the creativity and imagination that was put into this book. I've recommended this book to several people immediately after I've read it.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I think with any fictional book, in any genre, there must be some level of emotional engagement with the reader in order for a relationship to grow. For me, the relationship budded almost instantaneously with Diana as the main protagonist. I love books when there's some shred (big or small) of realism and history in it and the Discovery of Witches had it all. The landmarks.. the significant milestones in our history and best of all, with all things fantasy, the witches lore. Is it real? Is it hearsay? Is it still an urban myth? It doesn't matter.. it has it all, along with a dose of vampire (vampire overload these days) but Matthew is so endearing and so painstakingly torn, that you want to take sides with him. I do love this book.. so much so that I've read it three times. Twice on the hardcopy and once on the newly acquired Kobo. All three times are wonderful.. so wonderful that I've read the sequel as well and eagerly awaiting the third and final installment sometime this summer. Books like this reminds me of The Historian.. full of richness in history, a healthy dose of realism and a great dash of imagination.
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1 review
January 22nd, 2014
Like Twilight but for grown ups. Intriguing and compelling, I couldn't put this book down and read it in the space of a couple of days. More intellectual than your average supernatural book which made a refreshing change, even for a fan of the average supernatural book! Can't wait for the next instalment.
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1 review
Liked
December 25th, 2013
Some of everything!
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1 review
Fantastic read
December 10th, 2013
Great book! Has the elements of what I love mixed into a piece of great fiction. Can't wait to read the next book.
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
November 9th, 2013
The house is the best character, and the one interesting enough to read more about. The main character starts out strong but becomes a spineless woman after meeting her vampire. If you like romance novels, this could be just your cup of tea.
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1 review
Bewitched
November 1st, 2013
Epic epic epic! Can't wait to read the next two.
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1 review
Fantastic read!
October 18th, 2013
I loved reading this book. It was cute and just plain awesome!
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1 review
A Discovery of Witches
October 10th, 2013
Great book, hard to put down! Recommend highly.
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1 review
October 8th, 2013
Love the depth that Deborah has taken withthis book. Couldnt put it down.
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
This is definitely not a Twilight copy. This book is written for adults and is a hard to put down book. The characters are well defined. You get a real sense of knowing them and it's hard to determine reality from fiction when you do put it down. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in other beings and history. You do travel to different places and different times. Amazing.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
A book I really love! I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading because I couldn't put it down. Imaginative, and utterly charming!
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
I loved it!!!! The characters really draw you in and I loved the ending I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
I love this book.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
I couldn't put this Book down, I wanted more, and I hope a second Book will come soon.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
Great take on the witch vampire venue. Engrossing storyline well written it takes you on a journey thru science and fantasy . I have yet to read the second in the series because I want to reread A Discovery Of Witches before I continue .
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
If you like fantasy vampire stories this is the book for you! Including witches too! It has it all! Enjoyed reading it! Looking forwRd to the next one!
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
This book was great! Imaginative, smart, funny, suspenseful and romantic!! Read book 2 directly after. Can't wait for winter to get the third. Great characters and story line. A must read.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
It's always nice to come across a story that is more than what you think it will be. I just reread this book recently. Diana is courageous, but not in the stereotypically butt icking way. She's not a child and knows how the world works. The magic and creatures compliment the story line while being a part of the story. It's like a spell that weaves itself and binds you to the characters and what happens to them. Harkness is a master at discribing the locales that are done I such beautiful detail that you actually experience them with Matthew and Diana. I love this book and it stays with me for much longer than any other story.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
I love the attention to detail that makes it come alive without overshadowing the storytelling.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
This book grabs you right at the beginning and takes you on an adventure that keeps the reader engrossed right to the end. I found this story hard to put down and when finished immediately looking for book two...Excellent story and well written. Highly reccomend it.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
I really enjoyed this book. The love Dianna Bishop & Matthew Clairmont have for each other is great. I also read the Sequel Shadow of Night, it was interesting going to the past in Matthew's time. Can't wait for the third in the series.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
I became completely immersed in this book! It was like discovering a whole new universe and looking through the eyes of this woman on a fictional reality intertwined with our own. I highly recommend this book as well as it's sequel 'Shadow of Night'!
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
I will admit it took me a bit to actually start reading this book. I bought it after reading the description of the book, but the book sat on my shelf for a good month or so. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book because once I started it I was hooked from the very first page, despite its slow start. Once I got into it I could not put this book down. It has been described in many reviews as the grown up version of Twilight…. ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Yes it does have a vampire and a warm-blooded in a forbidden/unlikely relationship it is NOTHING like Twilight. It is a story all on its own. It’s a tale with real magic and true storytelling. It’s a love story that comes leaping off the pages at you. Passion and sexual tension came in just the right magical mixture. Spellbinding description and bewitching sub plots were in abundance. Diana and Matthew are like no ordinary couple. Their love is doomed long before it blossomed. Yet, through the book, this love allows them to conquer, and fall, and pick themselves up again. By uniting together, they create a bond that no one or no creature can damage. The story is elegant and compelling, each and every character is well drawn and appealing in their own way(s). The romance is delightfully old-fashioned, a real courtship, something to be savored and anticipated. I was taken in and captivated by the settings, the history and the intricate tale that the author has woven. In addition to the main characters there is a complex web of other characters, which added to the story in a huge way, as the story as it turns out is not just about the two main characters, it involves all of the characters introduced. I cannot wait for the next installment of this story (coming in 2012), which this book as is turns out is just the beginning of a trilogy. Can’t wait to see what happens next. A MUST READ!!!
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1 review
September 19th, 2013
This book had me charmed from the beginning!
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1 review
Love it!
September 5th, 2013
This is such a great series of books. I just can't put them down. I'm impatiently waiting for the 3rd book
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1 review
Reader
August 23rd, 2013
Excellent and riveting
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1 review
Confused :/
August 13th, 2013
I am not sure f this is supposed to be a love story or a fantasy. While the writing is good you can feel the shift of mood of the writer chapter to chapter. Huge swings in the tone from one to the next. Without the development of the love story portion it could make it difficult to relate to the protagonists. While the book is written from a first person stand point, numerous chapters took a vacation from the main character and seen things from other characters POV. It is for this fact that I would have liked to see more developed antagonists rather than constant referrals and vague descriptions to them only. A chapter or two from their point of view would have moved the story along a little better
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1 review
A discovery of witches
July 25th, 2013
Enjoyed the book the secound around as much as the first time!
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1 review
Awesome
July 24th, 2013
Spellbound and its way better than the Twilight saga.. No cheesiness..
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1 review
A Discovery of Witches
July 21st, 2013
The cleverest witch & vampire book I've read. A good plot, depth, and intelligence in the storyline.
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1 review
Excellent read
July 3rd, 2013
Loved it... I laughed,cried, and wanted more! Onto book #2 =)
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1 review
Great read!
June 19th, 2013
You won't regret reading this one. A bit slow to start but keeps ya hooked right till the end and beyond.
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1 review
Loved!
June 19th, 2013
Just like the back of the physical book says - a little bit of everything. Has science, romance, paranormal and some mystery.
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1 review
Great First Book
May 30th, 2013
I hated to wait for the second one.
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1 review
Frustrating ending.
March 19th, 2013
I found the book very easy to read because it was quite interesting. That being said, there was no ending, which was very frustrating. Most books in a series make you want to read the next book, but this novel just seemed incomplete.
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1 review
Good story
March 10th, 2013
Great premise for a book enjoyed the story. However it needs better editing . And some of the characters are predictable. Over all its a good read.
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1 review
Great book
March 6th, 2013
Great book, can't wait for book 3, I have read book one and two a few times already :-)
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1 review
HP + Twilight
March 5th, 2013
Harry Potter + Twilight
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1 review
Wonderful
January 22nd, 2013
This book is great!!!! You will enjoy every moment!
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1 review
A Discovery of Witches
December 30th, 2012
I'm not usually into this kind of book, but I loved this! It was rooted enough in reality to read well. I liked it so much I have downloaded the sequel.
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1 review
A Discovery of Witches:A Novel
December 28th, 2012
Awesome book, ended to soon!
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1 review

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