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A Discovery of Witches

by

A Discovery of Witches Cover

ISBN13: 9780143119685
ISBN10: 0143119680
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"A wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter and Twilight." People

Synopsis:

In a sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches became the "it" book of early 2011, bringing Deborah Harkness into the spotlight and galvanizing fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar's depth to this riveting story of magic and suspense. And the story continues in Book Two, Shadow of Night.

About the Author

Deborah Harkness is a professor of history at the University of Southern California. She has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. Her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. She also writes an award-winning wine blog, goodwineunder20.blogspot.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 57 comments:

Barb Wyer, July 17, 2014 (view all comments by Barb Wyer)
History and intrigue and fantasy all rolled into one. Loved it! Look forward to the next two in the trilogy.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Maggie_S, May 1, 2014 (view all comments by Maggie_S)
An enjoyable read but it really is like Twilight for grown ups. Also, it's part of a trilogy and the first book ends with absolutely no resolution.
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Sheila Deeth, January 6, 2014 (view all comments by Sheila Deeth)
I can smell the ancient books in the library, sense the wind in leaves, hear echoed footsteps in hallowed halls, and touch the warm stone walls. Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches takes me to that “other place”---Oxford---and makes its science, studies and magic all vividly real.

The magic is very quietly introduced---no blaring headlines, no threat that the world is not, in fact, as it seems; just a background truth---the quiet, gentle, studious narrator is a witch; so are some other people; and the man who keeps looking at her is a vampire.

Deborah Harkness’ vampires are not the stuff of legend, old or new, but the author creates a solid sense that they might be the stuff behind legend. And so a whole new world behind our world insinuates itself into both story and the reader’s imagination. It’s beautifully thought-out, pleasingly self-consistent, and painted with just the right touch of science to truly satisfy. Even when a scene offers that destabilizing hint that it couldn’t be that way, the reader’s already pondering, certain the author meant it exactly as it is, and trusting the author to make clear whatever it is we can’t yet work out.

There’ll be time travel in the next book of the trilogy. I can’t wait to see how she makes something so impossible make sense. But for now I’m thoroughly satisfied and delighted to have shared some time in the world of Oxford and magic, sipping wine (and oh how thoroughly evocatively she describes it), enjoying the foods, and shying away from that cold feeling on the back of the neck that means someone’s looking.

With this very grown-up, satisfying, world-bending, entertaining and enthralling successor to Harry Potter, this author and these Witches have me hooked.

Disclosure: My husband gave it to me for Christmas
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143119685
Author:
Harkness, Deborah
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Harkness, Deborah E.
Subject:
Occult
Subject:
Horror - General
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Series:
Bloodlines
Series Volume:
3
Publication Date:
20111231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
33 x 10.5 x 8.5 in 17.5 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Paranormal

A Discovery of Witches New Trade Paper
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Product details 432 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143119685 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter and Twilight."
"Synopsis" by , In a sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches became the "it" book of early 2011, bringing Deborah Harkness into the spotlight and galvanizing fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar's depth to this riveting story of magic and suspense. And the story continues in Book Two, Shadow of Night.
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