A Discovery of Witches – It’s What We’re Reading

July 2011

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

A Discovery of Witches


A Discovery of Witches
Deborah Harkness

The reviews are in and I for one agree it is a must-read. In her debut novel, Deborah Harkness touches on the things I love in this genre: witches, vampires, demons and more.

While doing research on alchemy texts in Oxford’s Bodleian Library for an upcoming conference, a young scholar of history, Dr. Diana Bishop, finds more than she was looking for. Upon receiving a text called Ashmole 782 with other texts she requested, she realizes as she opens it that there is something magical about this book. Afraid, she slams it shut and sends it back to the stacks, only to request it the next day and be told that that particular volume has been missing for centuries.

In comes our very handsome and extremely intelligent 1500 year-old vampire named Matthew Clairmont. Diana tries to avoid him but realizes she can’t and that he only wants to protect her from the other witches, vampires and demons that have been arriving on a daily basis at the library. All they want is the book, and they won’t leave until Diana recalls it for them. Why is this book so important you ask, and why do all manner of supernatural beings want to get their hands on? It is believed to hold the story of all origins and the secret of immortality and they are willing to go to war, if need be, to get it.

A Discovery of Witches is a mix of history, alchemic references, mythology and of course, forbidden love. This is the first book in the series All Souls Trilogy. And let me tell you, I can’t wait until book two comes out.

A Discovery of Witches can be found in the Popular Fiction on the 1st floor of the Library.