Customer Reviews for

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

106 out of 117 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

123 out of 209 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 January 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I can smell the ancient books in the library, sense the wind in

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2013

    This was truly a great book! I am almost done with the second a

    This was truly a great book! I am almost done with the second and hope there are many more to come. Just the right amount of danger, romance, magic, history and fun! Kudos to the author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Loved this book!

    The story is fascinating. The characters drew me in right away and I could'nt wait to find out what was going to happen next! Love, suspense, drama, it has it all! Can't wait to read the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2013

    love it

    Love it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Excellent, engaging read!

    Like a grown up, better written, more sophisticated Twilight! And once we get into tge second book, it's like a cross between Twilight and the Outlander series! Fun read with just enough history, romance, and intelligence to appeal to lots of different readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Good boo

    Very good book, will read again

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic story telling. I can't wait for the rest of the series

    Fantastic story telling. I can't wait for the rest of the series. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    The adult twilight

    I loved this book, i call it the adult twilight (much less mush) and think its even better I have read both books and couldnt get enough. It has somthing for everyone. Vampires. Wiches history love drama and the unknown.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Loved it

    Great new take on supernatural creatures. This is also a long book which always makes me happy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Love Love Love

    This is an awesome book. I have read book 1, 2 and i can not wait until 3!!! When you read these books, the time flies by. I would look up at the clock and force myself to put the book down so I could get some sleep before work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    I loved this book and its sequel! Can't wait until the 3rd book

    I loved this book and its sequel! Can't wait until the 3rd book is published.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2012

    Good Book for Many Reasons

    History's buffs, mystery enthusiasts, people who like vampire and witches with demons thrown in.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    I was expecting just a light fantasy novel but this greatly exce

    I was expecting just a light fantasy novel but this greatly exceeded my expectations. The historical insights and a twist on typical vampire/witch lore made this quite fascinating. I purchased the next in the series for my nook the same night I finished.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    Wonderful story, author grabs you and drops you into the charact

    Wonderful story, author grabs you and drops you into the characters world. She found a way to bring history back to life through some imortal characters. Love the series, by far one of my favorites. One of the few that I have read more than once.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2012

    I loved the authors explanation of witches, vampiers and daemons

    I loved the authors explanation of witches, vampiers and daemons throughout history. Very interesting and intriguing. I was captivated by the story and the characters. Excellent read. Read it for book club and everyone loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2012

    I couldn't put it down

    This had me captivated from the very start of the story. I can't wait to get into the 2nd and 3rd book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2012

    Highly Recommend!!!!!

    This is a great book! I cannot wait for book three to come out. If you are an adult reader of Harry Potter, you will definitely enjoy this series of books. The fantasy is great, but the history is even better. The characters are very enjoyable.
    Well done!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    The story is skillfully written and the characters are well-developed as is the plot. I could see the characters and hear them even after I put the book down, which I did regretfully as I reached the final page.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    Very very good

    This a grown up book. Meaning you have to read into it and everything folds together. It was slow to get into, but keep reading. Its so worth it. I love how real historical events and ppl are thrown in the story and I'm so impatient for the third book now. I also love that the lead female is ripe in age. A very good book for us grown up women who still love a lil magic and fantasy with our stories. You won't regret reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2012

    A wonderful book!

    I'm sure there are tons of reviews about this book, so I won't bore you with details.
    It took me quite a while to read this book because 'life' got in the way of my normal reading habits (it happens).

    It was great and I really enjoyed it! So much in fact that half way through the book, I purchased the sequel, Shadow of Night.
    The writing is wonderful and I loved ALL the details. I could perfectly imagine the library in Oxford, the books, Diana's apartment, the Clairmont estate and her family home, with all the extra rooms (lol).

    Yes, I could have read 3-4 YA books in the same amount of time, but sometimes I enjoy 'soaking-up' a book. I felt the same when I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and The Help by Kathryn Stokett, although different genres and massive in size, the books held my interest the entire time.

    Kudos to Harkness for writing such a wonderful book. I can't wait to read the sequel =)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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