Why trust us? We take expert advice, test, research and select products independently. If you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission read more.

A Discovery of Witches Fantasy Book Review: Best for Kids

A Discovery of Witches: The All Souls Trilogy” by Deborah Harkness is the first book of the romance-vampire saga about the story of the historian Diana Bishop and an enigmatic geneticist Mathew Clairmont.

A Discovery of Witches fantasy book

A Discovery of Witches fantasy book

  • Author: Deborah Harkness
  • ISBN-10: 0143136100
  • Release date: September 29, 2020


A Discovery of Witches: The All Souls Trilogy is a gripping fantasy-romance story with a nice touch of historical details and two well-created main characters with great chemistry. Although some parts could be considered clichés, it is an entertaining book to read, especially for the lover of the genre!


  • Witches and vampires from all the history
  • Well described historical settings and characters
  • Gripping story


  • Many cliches
  • The rhythm is sometimes very slow

The details

In the heart of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the passionate historian Diana Bishop comes across the manuscript identified as Ashmole 782 in the middle of her research. A descendant of an ancient line of witches, Diana intuits that the manuscript is somehow related to the magic, but she wants nothing to do with witchcraft. After taking some notes on her curious drawings, she puts the book back without wasting any more time on it.  What Diana does not know is that it is an alchemical manuscript that has been lost for centuries and whose discovery has triggered hordes of daemons, vampires, and witches to emerge from the reading rooms of the Library. One such creature is Matthew Clairmont, an enigmatic geneticist, wine lover, and millennial vampire whose alliance with Diana will become progressively more intimate, and little by little, a secret and enchanted relationship will emerge between the two that will shake the taboos established for a long time in the world.


This is a genuinely entertaining book to read if you love history and romance. The saga is considered the Twilight saga for adults with a more complex and profound story.

The love theme is present throughout the entire book, functioning as the setting that accompanies the reader through the story. On the other hand, the research on Ashmole 782 or Diana’s training is another crucial element. The author masterfully combines the details of historical events and characters presented in the story.

Unique settings and characters are described in rich details to make the reader get into the world deeply. From Darwin’s Book Of Species to an original copy of Luther’s Bible, there are many great historical details. Especially the description of Oxford is so clear that it makes you feel like you are walking among the campus in different moments in history with unique objects.


The book tells in the first person the story of the historian Diana Bishop, who, after trying to deny magic, finds herself involved in her own world because of an alchemy book that mysteriously ends up in her hands. Thanks to her work as a historian, we are getting to know not only her thoughts and experiences, but we also end up reading and learning historical events.

When Matthew bursts onto the scene, everything changes, and the story progresses, taking on a romantic and troubled edge. With its appearance, we not only get to know and learn more about different historical eras but also about the eternal question of where we come from and where we are going. A question focused mainly on the world of witches, vampires, and daemons that also ends up affecting humans.

Thus, when they meet, they break one of the greatest taboos in their world, causing dramatic events full of fast-paced and utterly addictive action. But it must be said that the tempo gets lower in some parts, making the parts a bit boring. Nevertheless, it is a story of adventure, history, magic, fantasy, and romance in a magnificent novel of almost 800 pages.


The book is well planned and researched, and it has a surprisingly complex story, where the author puts scientific, historical, and supernatural things into it. She plays with the idea that the famous stories we have heard of witches and vampires are different from what we know. It is a story that does an excellent job of building a world full of vampires, witches, and demons within our own reality. With detailed descriptions and explanations, the author not only convinces us of the story but also brilliantly hooks us into it.


Diana Bishop is a historian at Oxford University to continue her studies on alchemy. She is always close to the best research works, as she has shown talent and interest in it. But she is also a witch who comes from an ancient witch family and apparently of great power. But first, we do not see that power. Diana has given up her magical abilities and claims that she doesn’t even have too many. As the story progresses, she starts to accept and learn about her true identity.

Mathew Clarimont is an enigmatic geneticist, wine lover, and millennial vampire. When Diana meets him, he suddenly wants to help her and even protect her from all the attacks she is suffering. Together they fight and try to discover the true secret of  Ashmole 782 and why everyone wants to find it. At the same time, our protagonist witch must decide if she wants to learn to use her powers or if she prefers to continue living her everyday life.

Final verdict

In conclusion, we think “A Discovery of Witches” is an excellent introductory book with a brave, strong, and intelligent protagonist who is not intimidated by adversity. She is joined by other very well-developed characters and a well-written and captivating story. This is a great book, and thanks to its different story, it has many greatly combined elements from history, romance, magic, and fantasy. Therefore, it should be essential for all those who like romance and historical settings.

Become a member

Sign up for our newsletter to get exlusive new content and giveaways.

By continuing, you accept the privacy policy.
No spam. Unsubscribe any time!