Deborah Harkness

Reviews

ON THE WEB

“If vampires, werewolves, ghosts and ghouls excite  you, then these frighteningly sexy paranormal novels are the perfect reads for your Fall pleasure . . . A scholar from a long line of witches must team up with a vampire geneticist when she accidentally summons foes from a dar underworld in the spooky, sexy A Discovery of Witches.” Popsugar, August 24, 2016

                                                                                                  IN PRINT

“. . . a wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter or Twilight. . . An irresistible tale of wizardry, science and forbidden love, Discovery will leave you longing for the sequel. . . . A first novel that casts a singular spell.” –Lisa Kay Greissinger, People Pick, People Magazine, February 21, 2011

“Harkness’ sure hand when it comes to star-crossed love and chilling action sequences in striking locales makes for an enchanting debut. The best news of all: it’s the first in a trilogy.” –Parade Picks, Parade Magazine, February 6, 2011

“A highly addictive read for those who want their mythology and magic served up with a dose of smarts.” –J.P., Chatelaine (Canada), 2/2011

” . . . romantic, erudite, and suspenseful. . . . Harkness attends to every scholarly and emotional detail with whimsy, sensuality, and humor.”  Celia McGee, O, The Oprah Magazine, February 2011

“… a thoroughly grown-up novel packed with gorgeous historical detail, [it] has a gutsy, brainy heroine to match…”  Karen Valby, Entertainment Weekly, 2/4/2011

“. . . this might just be a Twilight for the tweedy set.” –Karen Valby, Preview Issue, Entertainment Weekly, 1/21/2011

“…this enchanting novel is an essential purchase. Harkness is an author to watch.” –Crystal Renfro, Library Journal (Starred Review), 12/15/10

“…a compelling and sweeping tale…” –Jessica Moyer, Booklist (Starred Review), 12/1/2010

“…an assured saga that blends romance with fantasy. The first in a trilogy, it has had publishers swooning.” –Hephzibah Anderson, The Daily Mail, 12/30/2010


Online

“. . . But against all odds, A Discovery of Witches becomes increasingly charming as it goes along. There’s a fine story here. . .[and] Harkness tucks in bright plot twists. . . . It’s a shrewdly written romp and a satisfying snow-day read for those of us who heartily enjoyed the likes of Anne Rice and Marion Zimmer Bradley. By the book’s rousing end, I didn’t even miss the cackling. In fact, I was impatient for the sequel.” –Neda Ulaby, NPR Book Blog, MonkeySee, 2/9/2011

“ . . . a masterpiece of literary fiction, filled with factional and fantastical beings brought to us by the lyrical narrative of a most talented storyteller.” Debbie H., The Reading Frenzy, 1/24/2011

“Not merely a fanciful supernatural romance; A Discovery of Witchesintellectualises their existence, theorising on the role of genetics, DNA, evolution and extinction; as well as contemplating the pervasiveness of racial prejudices and segregation. … Blending fact and fiction, history and present, delicate courtship and tempestuous tantrums, understanding your identity and losing yourself: it is a beautiful work of fiction that fastens onto your heart and feeds your mind. In other words: probably perfection.” –The Truth About Books, December 2010

“‘A Discovery of Witches’ is a lose-yourself novel of supernatural intrigue, and Harkness proves to be a novelist of considerable talent.” –Rich Kleffel’s ‘The Agony Column,” 12/6/2010


On Air

“…for the adult reader who needs a little more substance than Twilight and characters a little older than Harry Potter. Same compelling storytelling and intriguing characters.” Kaite Mediatore Stover, The Book Doctors: Latest Recommendations, 1/24/2011


From Booksellers

Best Books of February, Amazon.com: A sparkling debut written by a historian and self-proclaimed oenophile, A Discovery of Witches is heady mix of history and magic, mythology and love … making for a luxurious, intoxicating, one-sitting read. –Daphne Durham

February 2011 Indie Next List — “I lost a good deal of sleep turning the pages of this tale of adventure, suspense, and romance. . . . The author did her homework and the history rings as true as the passion.  I can’t wait for the sequel!”  Annie Leonard, The Next Chapter, Knoxville, TN

“Part Dan Brown, part Charlaine Harris and a touch of Diana Gabladon; if you threw these authors together with a handful of academics the result might have been something akin to Deborah Harkness’ debut fiction A Discovery of Witches. … Harkness writes mystery, tension and romance with the ease of a great storyteller. If you like any of the above mentioned authors or a taste for adventure then this is a must read! ” — Nieves Ayala, The Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness has it all–a mysterious, bewitched manuscript, an irresistible vampire (French, no less!), powerful witches, an ancient castle, history, romance, suspense. It is a magical read–one whose spell lingers long after you’ve turned the last page.” —Susan Thomas, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

“Take one witch who does not know the extent of her powers, add a 1,500-year old vampire, a few daemons and assorted other witches and vampires, both benevolent and malevolent, combine them with a search for a potentially life altering ancient manuscript and you have the perfect ingredients for a novel that will enthrall and entertain. Elizabethan scholar Deborah Harkness turns her brilliance to fiction and has produced a work sure to make her as well known in popular circles as she is in the world of academia.” —Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

In Print

“Harkness shines again with ‘Shadow of Night’ …[which] takes us places we’ve never been before.” (USA Today)

“Enchanting, engrossing, and as impossible to put down as its predecessor, Shadow of Night is a perfect blend of fantasy, history and romance.  Its single greatest flaw is, after almost 600 pages, it’s over.  If you’ve already read and enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, picking up Shadow of Night is an absolute requirement.  Otherwise, pick up both, and consider your summer reading list complete.” (The Miami Herald)

“As delightful a journey into the past as it is an adventure into the fanciful cultures and conflicts between supernatural creatures.” (North County Times)

” Shadow of Night  is such rich, period fun, particularly delightful in its witty characterization of historical immortals.”   (New York Daily News)

“a great spell, the one that can enchant a reader . . . is cast.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Harkness proves she’s not suffering from a sophomore slump with this addictive tale of magic, mayhem and two lovers.” (The Chicago Tribune)

“Readers who enjoyed the first book’s striking detail and complex world-building will be equally as thrilled with this second book in the trilogy…”  (Library Journal Reviews)

“Harkness delights in lining up the living dead and modern academic history … [her] tale of a feminist Yankee in Queen Elizabeth’s court charms …” (Publisher’s Weekly)

“Destined to be as popular as its predecessor…the characterizations of 16th-century Oxfordshire with a paranormal twist … add a historical richness to the epic, while the plot sets readers up for the culminating struggle anticipated in the trilogy’s final book.” (Crystal Renfro, Library Journal)

We literally fell head over stilettos in love with volume one in the Trilogy Of Souls series – it even kick-started the GLAMOUR.com book club because of our enthusiasm! If you loved Twilight but need to sink your teeth into a much more meaty, intelligent and feisty story – with an addictive love thread to boot – then read A Discovery Of Witches quick to whet your appetite for book two.” (Glamour Magazine UK)


From Booksellers

“I’m not sure I could have built this sequel up more in my head, but Shadow of Night surpassed all of my extravagant expectations. In this novel, Deborah Harkness brings back all of the characters and magic I’d loved in the first book, continuing the story of the struggles a mortal witch and an immortal vampire face in solving the mystery of their existences and dealing with hostility from a number of ancient factions. Here, again, is a beautifully-written novel that brings all of Harkness’s strengths as a scholar to bear on the question of how individuals fall in live and find a place in the world, giving the reader a real sense of having lived in the past worlds the novel depicts and thoroughly saturated in the joys of discovering knowledge. If you haven’t read Discovery of Witches yet, you should make that your next book. If you have, you’ll love Shadow of Night even more.”

–Sarah Connell, Water Street Bookstore
Exeter, NH

A Discovery of Witches left readers teased for the sequel and Deborah Harkness has lived up to the promise. Using her historian’s knowledge, she has a major part of the action set in Elizabethan England as the conflicts between witches, vampires and demons continue to escalate, all the while also setting the stage for what is certain to be a rousing conclusion to this trilogy.”

–Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books
Ann Arbor, MI

“WOW!!!!! I finished Shadow of Night in one day! I was off and I just stayed in my pjs and read all day long. I LOVED it. I actually thought it was better than Discovery of Witches in the sense that it was really full of history and magical lore, etc. She got all that sexual tension/romance out of the way in book 1 and did what I hoped in this book. The actual historical characters were so much fun to read about within the story.”

–Laura Donohoe, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe
Asheville, NC

“I fell for the characters in A Discovery of Witches, and now there are characters in Shadow of Night I’m equally invested in. Harkness’s take on some of the greatest historical figures is brilliant and completely believable. As Diana and Matthew move through history, we learn about it, and it comes alive, vibrant and real – smells, sights, sounds, they’re all there making this a truly sensual novel in the classic meaning of the word (rather than erotic) — and I love every the aspect of this book. There’s wonder and fun, heartbreak and intrigue, and a really cool dog. It’s the perfect sequel, taking us further into their story, giving the characters even more depth, and…well, I’m gushing, but it really is that good.” Fran, Seattle Mystery Bookshop


Online

“…the perfect summer read…There’s fantasy, there’s love, (and) there’s discovering your calling in life.” —CNN. com

“…casts a complex spell”  —NPR.org

From Booksellers

“Ack! Damn you, Deborah Harkness! What will we do with ourselves now that Matthew and Diana’s story has concluded?! Harkness has produced perfection in The Book of Life. Matthew and Diana have returned to present day after their foray in the past and face new crises and enemies at every turn. Circumstances this time around make the search for the missing pages to Ashmore 782 even more critical to complete and Matthew and Diana once again lead the charge. Filled with passion, mystery, deceit, and plenty of surprises along the way, this conclusion is everything readers have asked for and more. I kissed this book and held it dearly to my chest when I finished it.”

–Bess B., McLean and Eakin Booksellers
Petoskey, MI

“Deborah Harkness does it again and the wait was well worth it! Her ability to weave science, history, magic, folklore (and even some social commentary) into a story full of mystery, suspense and romance is simply amazing. The scope of this saga is epic yet Harkness makes it feel so personal. I hope this really isn’t the end!!”

–Laura D., Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe
Asheville, NC

“After two long years, the wait is finally over: The Book of Life, the final installment in Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy, wraps up the story of Matthew Clairmont and Diana Bishop and delivers it with a big, frilly bow on top. After a whirlwind romance, timewalking back to 16th century Europe, and declaring war against the Congregation, what else is there for the couple to do? Quite a bit actually…. With a few unexpected twists and turns to keep you on your toes, Harkness will keep you enthralled until the very last page in the perfect conclusion to her fantastic series.”

–Samantha G., Warwick’s
La Jolla, CA


Online and Print

“The witch Diana’s and the vampire Matthew’s quests to discover their origins and confront the threats to their star-crossed union tie up as neatly as one of Diana’s magical weaver’s knots.”  (Kirkus Reviews) 

“History, science, and the unpredictable actions of paranormal characters with hidden agendas all swirl together to create a not-to-be-missed finale to a stellar paranormal series.” “Harkness delves more deeply into the political machinations of her world in this outing, weaving in a meaningful message about how ignorance, fear, and misinformation can drive a culture, with ramifications for generations to come.  (Library Journal)

“There is no shortage of action in this sprawling sequel, and nearly every chapter brings a wrinkle to the tale. The storytelling is lively and energetic, and Diana remains an appealing heroine even as her life becomes ever more extraordinary. A delightful wrap-up to the trilogy.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Harkness herself proves to be quite the alchemist as she combines elements of magic, history, romance, and science, transforming them into a compelling journey through time, space, and geography. By bridging the gaps between Harry PotterTwilight, and Outlander fans, Harkness artfully appeals to a broad range of fantasy lovers.” (Booklist)

“A bewitching end to the All Souls Trilogy . . . Harkness’ ambitious melding of scientific and historical detail is inventive and brings surprising depth to . . . real-life societal scourges.” (Los Angeles Times) 

“Harkness’ adept writing–rich in historical detail, supernatural mythology, romance and humor–and her diverse and complex characters created a celebrated trilogy for adult fantasy devotees, a trilogy with a bold social conscience.”  (San Diego Gay and Lesbian News)

“A superlative example in a subgenre you could call realistic fantasy–think Harry Potter but for grown-ups or Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Witches, vampires and daemons exist, along with time travel . . . Through them Harkness succeeds at the hardest part of writing fantasy:  she makes this world so real that you believe it exists–or at the very least that you wish that it did.”  (Miami Herald)

“Rejoice, Harkness fans!  The final installment in the bestselling All Souls Trilogy is here–and it’s juicy and action-packed.  As witch Diana Bishop and her beloved vampire Matthew Clairmont continue their search for the enchanted Ashmole 782 manuscript, they learn it’s not only the key to the origin of magical species but may also be essential to their own survival.  Even at 561 pages, this is one hardcover no one will mind lugging to the beach.” (People)