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Extended Audio Sample A Discovery of Witches: A Novel Audiobook, by Deborah Harkness Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00006189395502 out of 53.00006189395502 out of 53.00006189395502 out of 53.00006189395502 out of 53.00006189395502 out of 5 3.00 (96,940 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Deborah Harkness Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The All Souls Trilogy Release Date: February 2011 ISBN: 9781101484531
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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 demons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure that has been lost for centuries—and she is the only creature who can break its spell. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A romp through magical academia.”

    Guardian

  • “Intelligent and off-the-wall, it will be irresistible to Twilight fans.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “A sparkling debut...A Discovery of Witches is heady mix of history and magic, mythology and love, making for a luxurious, intoxicating, one-sitting read.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Harkness brings this world to vibrant life and makes the most of the growing popularity of gothic adventure with an ending that keeps the Old Lodge door wide open.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A compelling and sweeping tale.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A bubbling cauldron of illicit desire...all the ingredients for an assured saga that blends romance with fantasy.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “An inventive addition to the supernatural craze.”

    Marie Claire

  • “From the stillness of Oxford’s Bodleian Library to a turreted French castle, narrator Jennifer Ikeda embarks on a magical journey. Her narration is quietly charming...This epic tale of the origins of magic will make listeners wish they could conjure the sequel.”

    AudioFile

  • “Set in our contemporary world with a magical twist, this sparkling debut by a history professor features a large cast of fascinating characters, and readers will find themselves invested in Diana’s success at unlocking the secrets of the manuscript...This enchanting novel is an essential purchase. Harkness is an author to watch.”

    Library Journal

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2011
  • Selected for the February 2011 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karon | 10/2/2016

    " I have all three audio books and LOVE them! I have listen to them over and over. Jennifer ikeda really dose a great job! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angie Pachniak | 2/19/2014

    " Very long story and so drawn out I wanted to skip ahead. Can't decide if I'll read the next one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tessa Scott | 2/13/2014

    " started off average, and just got more and more dull. I might come back to it one day but I got to the point where I just didn't care what happened next so I figured it was time to put it down and start on something else. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christa | 2/10/2014

    " If you loved Night Circus and want to continue on a mystical journey, then this is the book for you. What makes this book unique is it combines vampires, witches and demons in one story but it injected with tons of history. the romance btw the lead characters has all the perfect ingredients as well: tension, passion and inner turmoil. Love love "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brooke | 2/8/2014

    " The book dragged a little for me. I think I'll still read the next book in the series, but I probably wouldnt read it again.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jantine Zandbergen | 2/4/2014

    " This first part of the 'All Souls'-trilogy is a very nice read. I loved most of the characters (Ysabeau!) and the whole manuscript-alchemy-history-plotline is great. The book is a bit slow though, and I was sad to see another strong heroine go weak after spending a few days with an oh-so-lovely-guy. Nevertheless I look forward to the second installment of this series :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joeline | 2/4/2014

    " I am one of the people who really liked this book but I will admit to skipping/reading really fast through parts. However the parts that were great were really great. Should admit a love for research and description. Also teach at a University...Don't know why I feel the need to defend my enjoyment of this book because I did really like it! I would have cut out about a fourth of this book and added more about the daemons to make the books more balanced. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tifany | 1/23/2014

    " This was a much better version of a Twilight-like story, but more intellectually stimulating and way better written. If you like love stories, history, and fantasy, you will love this book! I really suggest reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 1/18/2014

    " I absolutely loved this book! Lots of history, fantasy & romance.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti Svoboda | 1/10/2014

    " So engaging! The author holds a Ph.D in history (I believe), and it's evident in her detail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Gallacher | 1/3/2014

    " Loved it. Very good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 June Dollar | 12/3/2013

    " At some point this book just got silly and dull. Stick to the witches and leave out the vampire/witch sexual tension and romance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce Haiar | 11/18/2013

    " Loved this book. Like Twilight but actually written for grownups so it was a little less angst and a little more historical/interesting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lynne | 11/15/2013

    " The writing style is clunky and distracted me from the story. I made it to page 82, but it seemed to be veering into a trite love story, so I bailed. :( "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna Agin | 11/10/2013

    " I started this book once and put it down. I restarted it 6 months later and enjoyed the book. It's about witches, vampires and daemons amongst humans in current times. It's the first of a trilogy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna Chouler | 11/9/2013

    " Good characters much better than twilight "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karri Bliek | 11/5/2013

    " Beautiful book - the writing takes you to the time and you grow to love Diana and Matthew. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martie Pych | 9/30/2013

    " Love it! I've read it numerous times and can't get enough! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine Foutch | 9/26/2013

    " Awesome read combines science history and magic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robyn | 3/21/2013

    " Love the romance between tortured souls and the intellectual debates gave depth to the fantasy world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linnea | 2/7/2013

    " I really enjoyed the second half of this book - the first half I was really nervous it was going to be a combination of Twilight and 50 Shades. Thankfully, Diana came into her own and I could nestle down with it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy | 1/31/2013

    " Wouldn't you know it's a trilogy?! Now I have to read the other 2. I really liked it. It is a more mature Twilight. Better written, better characters, better plot, more twists. The big downside, it leaves you hanging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorraine | 8/21/2012

    " Quite different. Liked it because of the history and detail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sammi Beale | 1/26/2012

    " This book was brilliant. It had the right amount of fantasy, history and romance. I encourage everyone to read this. I don't understand all of these bad reviews! Read it and make up your own mind. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn Matherly | 9/7/2011

    " I love the premise, plot, and storylines of this book series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Leonard | 8/27/2011

    " I'm not generally a fan of vampire novels, but really enjoyed this. It wasn't the standard "vampire" fare, and pulled me in very quickly. The beginning was a bit confusing, but I believe some of that confusion is central to the plot and will resolve later in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 8/16/2011

    " Picked this up out of boredom/heck of it. Glad I did. Good mix of scholarly topics mixed with magic. A bit of romance, but a good balance with action and plot movement/character development. Looking forward to the next book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindy | 7/1/2011

    " I really did like this book but it pretty much just ended without resolution. I did not realize when buying on kindle that it was a series and as of 7/1/11 there is not a second book out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Micki | 7/1/2011

    " It took me little bit to get into it but once I did, I thought it was great. I'm eagerly awaiting the next one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendi | 6/30/2011

    " I loved it but I didn't love the ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diane | 6/29/2011

    " I really liked it at first but there was too much down time for romance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia C. | 6/29/2011

    " Not a bad read. Heroine seemed a bit wishy/washy in the beginnng but she pulled it together. I'd recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victoria | 6/29/2011

    " A thoroughly enjoyable guilty pleasure! The last 1/4 seemed rushed, and when I got to the last few pages it became apparent that there is to be a sequel...but not for a few years! Aggravating! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Georgia | 6/28/2011

    " Excellent book. You care about the characters. Can't wait for book #2. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanna | 6/28/2011

    " An entertaining, guilty pleasure read. I found myself nauseated, at times, by the gender dynamics of the romance, but at other times was swept away. It was a fun, grown-up, and smarter version of Twilight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristinn | 6/28/2011

    " I absolutely LOVED this book, such a fun read! I was sad when it ended and I learned that I have to wait until next year for the next one!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margo | 6/28/2011

    " I liked this but thought it was a bit long. "

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About the Author
Author Deborah HarknessDeborah Harkness is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. A history professor at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. She lives in Los Angeles.
About the Narrator

Jennifer Ikeda has been narrating audiobooks since 2002. Among her readings are When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park; Just Listen by Sarah Dessen; and After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates.