Customer Reviews for

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

94 out of 104 people found this review helpful.

Great choice for fans of Anne Rice's witch/vampire novels!

I have just finished reading this book and found it far more enjoyable than I expected to from reading the synopsis. A Discovery of Witches is by a first-time fiction author and is set in modern times, the fantasy element comes in when we discover that the makeup of th...
I have just finished reading this book and found it far more enjoyable than I expected to from reading the synopsis. A Discovery of Witches is by a first-time fiction author and is set in modern times, the fantasy element comes in when we discover that the makeup of the world's intelligent creatures is only around 90% human with the other 10% comprising witches, vampires and daemons. It is the story of Diana, the last witch in a long line of Butler witches who can trace their history back to the Salem Witch Trials. Diana has spent most of her life denying her magical abilities, her parents were killed when she was very young and fear plays a large part in her reluctance to use magic. When she discovers a mysterious lost (and magical) file in a library whilst researching the history of alchemy her life changes in a major way. She meets a gorgeous male vampire, Matthew, a distinguished scientist, who is a lot older than he looks, and he appoints himself as her protector against the horde of witches, vampires and daemons who want to know the secret of the missing manuscript, they all have their own theories about what this work contains and will stop at nothing to get it.

This is obviously the first book in a series and has both romantic and thriller elements in addition to its modern fantasy theme, it started a little too slowly for my liking but it is well worth persevering as once the pace picks up it is very hard to put down. In this society, vampires and witches hate each other as a general rule and the relationship that develops between Diana and Matthew has serious repercussions for the whole of non-human society. The dynamic between the two of them is fascinating, and more than a little erotic, this book is likely to appeal to women far more than men. Diana is feisty, Matthew is controlling, the clashes between the two of them, particularly as Diana learns just how much power she has, are sometimes emotional, sometimes humorous and always entertaining. I particularly loved the Bishop family house where Diana's aunt and her female partner (both witches themselves) live, I won't spoil the surprise but its certainly no ordinary home and the events that take place there provide some of the most humorous moments in the story as well as one of the most dramatic. This novel will definitely appeal to fans of Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches and Vampire Chronicles novels and I am looking forward to the next instalment. Be warned, it has a cliffhanger ending!

posted by Saetana on February 1, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

122 out of 208 people found this review helpful.

How can a ebook be more expensive than a hardcover?

B&N you have got to figure this out!!! There are so many books I would love to buy but seriously an ebook should not be more than $9.99!!!!!

posted by LoveToReadNYC on February 16, 2011

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  • Posted October 23, 2013

    I loved this book! It is a little slow in the beginning but hang

    I loved this book! It is a little slow in the beginning but hang in there because it will pick up and get exciting the rest of the way to the  cliff hanger ending. I thought it was very entertaining and couldn't wait to start the next book. I just wish the 3rd book was out.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Good Read

    Engaging story with interesting inclusion of historical fact. Captivating enough to order #2 in the trilogy as soon as I finished #1.

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  • Posted June 11, 2013

    It was an interesting story. It had romance and a mysterious, co

    It was an interesting story. It had romance and a mysterious, complicated plot. Some parts got a little technical trying to sound too smart, but it was still enjoyable to read. and looking forward to finishing the next books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Great!

    A fun, interesting read! A paranormal thriller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    3 stars

    Took a while to get going but then it was a fun read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2013

    Perfect mix of magic, history, and love.

    I found the historical ties throughout the novel to be enticing. Just enough magic and wonder to create a captivating story without being cheesy and over the top. Can't wait for #2!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2013

    The Dark Ages Trilogy, book one: Discovery. prologue.

    Prologue: The leperchaun trembled. He was being sommoned. Finally, Mor'du had heard the news. He sighed, putting down his newly-polished gold spyglass. Unfortunaly, he could feel the sommoning pulling at his insides harder than ever, meaning it was urgent. The tiny man hated the fear that crept into his heart at the sight of his master. But, alas, it was worth the gold and glory, being a chosen follower of Mor'du. The leperchaun stepped out of his bedchambers. “Bedchambers! Ha! Holding cells, more like it,” grumbled the leperchaun darkly. He trudged up the thirty-two levels to the door of the leperchaun comunity. The old man at the exit, who had been standing there for fourteen years, (the other guard had been eaten my a cave troll) blocked the door with his steel-tipped spear. “What do you think you are doing, so near the Surface, you dirty rat? Get back to where you belong, or I will tell Chief!” The leperchaun simply held up a hand, leaving the Ring of Mor'du plainly in sight. The old mans change of characer was instant. It went to importance and co€kiness to terror and meakness. The gaurd stepped aside, muttering a old phrase to ward off evil spirits. The leperchaun smirked, soaking up the feeling of power. The rush of it was almost better than a feeling of sucsess whenever he stole a millionaire's credit card. Almost. /••|••\ A half-hour later he would be at the Castle of Mor'du. There he would find his wife dead, and a raging Mor'du. ((Hey, this is Briana O'Hare, I would like to know if I should continue this story. Please post whether you liked it or not. THANKKKK YOU! I AM FOREVER IN YOUR FLAVORRR! XD))

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book. It is long but intriguing.

    I really enjoyed this book. It is long but intriguing.

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  • Posted February 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great read.

    Excellent characters. Psychotically nasty bad guys. Very well written. An engrossing storyline. Mystery, action, romance. It has a little of everything with a paranormal twist. On a side note, I completely want the Bishops' house. It has got to be the coolest house ever.

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  • Posted January 26, 2013

    Good Magic

    The development of the plot and setting were a little slow in the first half of the book. Once the writer built a solid foundation, the second half moved along nicely, from England to France, to the US and back to Europe (where History comes from). I will definitely read the entire series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Exciting, Recommended

    To say that I read often is an understatement and my perfered genre is Science Fiction or Fantasy. This isn't the first book about witches and vampires that I have read and it won't be the last. This also won't be the last Deborah Harkness I read either. The Author has a wonderful way of mixing the impossible with the historical, and the playful banter of a budding relationship with the thrill of breaking the rules to the extend of a life or death situation. This is Bourne meets Charmed, or Tom Clancy meets Harlequin. I definatley recommend this book and the sequel.

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

    I thought this was a great story, however, I do agree with the o

    I thought this was a great story, however, I do agree with the other comments. It started to drag in the middle and enough already with the tea and yoga! I really enjoyed the historical parts of the book but sometimes it was hard to follow. Still, overall, it was a good read.

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  • Posted December 14, 2012

    A tale of supernatural self-discovery and romance

    I normally don't like to read romances because they all blend into one. So I was pleasantly suprised by this supernatural twist to the Romeo and Juliet story. The characters have personality quirks that make them interesting and their quest unfolds in a smooth flow upstream.

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book

    It took me about 100 pages to like it. Good book but a little tame and slow for Vampire book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    All souls trilogy

    As a student of history, as well as, being a vampire fan since my teen years this is a well paced and a very informative book...Snooze right? Wrong!. Don't be fooled by the historical references or that Diana Bishop is a historian..

    Also the romance between the main characters isn't so over done like a lot of vamp novels. Harkness suceeds in balancing suspence, romance, drama, and historical elements so that we the readers aren't left yawning or wanting to put the book down sooner than late.

    Read it...I dare you..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    Fun read

    This was a very entertaining read! Didnt want it to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    Very good

    I love action books and this is not one. So i am not sure why I enjoyed it so much. It kept me engrossed and i could not put it down. The wrighting was very good abd flowed so well I kept wondering what will jappen next. I love the wrighters take on the old myths.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Enjoyable, Creative Series

    I enjoyed this book and the story enough to want to buy the next book in the series. That's a good mark from me as I do not always have any interest in reading any more in a series. It is worthwhile and entertaining.

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  • Posted September 17, 2012

    Dr. Diana Bishop is a historian who specializes in science and a

    Dr. Diana Bishop is a historian who specializes in science and alchemy and a witch in denial of her gifts. Diana is working on a paper about alchemical properties for a keynote speech she's to give. When she unwittingly opens an anciet alchemy book called Ashmole 782 and nothing about her life will be the same again. She repeatedly denies invitations to witch festivities much to other witches dismay. Oxford's Bodleian Library is becoming home to more witches, vampires, and daemons of late and Diana is not sure why. When Matthew Clairmont sees Diana retrieve a book using magic but none of her other magical abilities. He becomes curious about her in a way no woman has in a really long time. Matthew Clairmont is a renown scientist and also a vampire with an interest in Ashmole 782 but doesn't hide that fact from Diana. Diana is drawn to Matthew like no other person in her life yet knows instinctively that he will not harm her in any way shape or form. Matthew baulks at the idea of Diana knowing this yet it's what she believes. Diana and Matthew begin to spend alot of time together which upsets the magical community. Every creature is watching Diana very closely to see if she'll get Ashmole 782 back in her hands again. Diana is threaten by unknown source Matthew takes action to protect her from harm. Diana is slowly accepting her gifts as a witch with Matthew's help. Diana knows Matthew is hiding something from her. Will Diana ever be safe? Can Matthew admit his feelings? Will Matthew share his secrets with Diana? What about the magical community? Who can teach Diana about magic? Your answers await you in A Discovery of Witches.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Discovery of Witches All Souls Trilogy Book One By Deborah Har

    A Discovery of Witches
    All Souls Trilogy Book One
    By Deborah Harkness

    Diana has spent her entire life denying herself anything to do with witchcraft, though she is descended from a long line of witches. When she was a child her parents were killed and she knew that it was because their deaths had, had something to do with magic. Now Diana is a historian focusing on alchemical texts, when she pulls stumbles upon an enchanted book within Oxford’s Bodleian Library she is soon pulled into more magic than she had ever imagined. With the help of vampire geneticist, Mathew Clairmont, Diana must survive witches who want her to recall the manuscript at any cost and she will soon realize that she is not quite as inept in witchcraft as she had previously thought.

    First and foremost this is a romance novel; I say this because the synopsis you read on the book or even on goodreads make it seem as it will be more of a novel like a Game of Thrones with only slight romance, and this is not the case. I don’t have a problem with romance it was just not what I had expected when I started reading it. Most of the novel is rather slow; it’s more of a building of the story and the characters than having a story of its own but when you get towards the end the author truly sucks you into the story. It is a well written novel and the world that Deborah Harkness has created in which there are four types of beings, Vampires Witches, Demons, and Humans, is truly fascinating. Demons are eccentric and focus more on the arts as Vampires focus more on science in their lives, now I know the Vampire aspect is not quite original but to take that theory and use it with demons is truly interesting. All in all this is an amazing start to a trilogy and worth it if you don’t mind the slow start.

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