Title: A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult
Release Date: February 8, 2011

A summary from the author’s website:

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

My review:

Diana Bishop is a professor and a witch at Yale whose life spins out of control after she puts her hands on the alchemical manuscript, referred to as Ashmole 782. There are four groups of beings in this novel: humans, witches, vampires, and daemons. Diana becomes fast, but reluctant friends with Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist and 1500 year old vampire.

A group comprised of three witches, three vampires, and three daemons, known as the Congregation, want to question Diana as to how she was able to find the bewitched Ashmole 782. With the help of Matthew and the Knights of Lazarus, she travels from Oxford to New York on an unexpected adventure. Lots of research and detail went into this novel–and it shows. A Discovery of Witches will appeal to fans of paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

To find out more about Deborah Harkness and her work, click here.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a copy of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment. You do not have to be a follower. Also, please list your e-mail address as follows: your e-mail (AT) wherever (DOT) com, so you won’t get junk mail. The contest is open to everyone in the world. The contest will end on February 14, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Good luck. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on February 15, 2011.

Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received a review copy of A Discovery of Witches from Penguin/Viking. I did not receive any endorsements of any kind, whether that be monetary, gifts, etc.


  1. Reading other reviews lead me to buy this book. What I found was a story with an interesting premise. I would have liked to have known how it came out in the end but the book never gets around to it.

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