A Discovery of Witches
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.
Deborah Harkness (born 1965) is an American scholar, novelist and wine enthusiast, best known as a historian and as the author of the All Souls Trilogy, which consists of The New York Times best-selling novel A Discovery of Witches and its sequels Shadow of Night and The Book of Life.
Harkness grew up near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of an American-born father and a British-born mother. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (B.A., 1986), Northwestern University (M.A., 1990), and the University of California, Davis (Ph.D., 1994). Harkness also studied abroad at Oxford University. She is a well-regarded historian of science and medicine, as well as having studied alchemy, magic and the occult.
The All Souls Series follows the story of Diana Bishop, a historian and reluctant witch, as she solves the mystery of Ashmole 782, falls in love with a mysterious vampire named Matthew Clairmont, and learns how powerful it can be to accept who you are.
The All Souls Series consists of four primary books, and includes one additional book that complement the series but is not considered mandatory reads, and the series is set to expand with the upcoming release of three more books. The current recommended reading order for the series is provided below.