Witches, Time Travel, and Enchanted Manuscripts: The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Witches, Time Travel, and Enchanted Manuscripts: The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches-small Shadow of Night Harkness-smlall The Book of Life Harkness-small

I’m not much of a fan of typographical covers — covers which feature the title, and not much else. I expect to be able to learn a lot about a book from the cover art and design, and typographical covers seem designed chiefly to keep a book mysterious. And they just don’t draw my eye the way a good piece of art does.

Mind you, that flaw didn’t seem to hurt A Discovery of Witches, the debut fantasy novel from Deborah Harkness which hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. She followed it with Shadow of Night and The Book of Life, which together comprise the All Souls Trilogy. The books are modern urban fantasies which feature reluctant witch Diana Bishop and vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and their search for the legendary lost manuscript Ashmole 782. The actions roams across Oxford’s Bodleian Library, a fantastical underworld, Elizabethan London, and Matthew’s ancestral home of Sept-Tours, France.

I was curious enough to purchase all three books in trade paperback. They’re also available in mass market paperback and digital formats from Penguin. Here’s a look at the back covers for A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night.

[Click the images for bigger versions.]

A Discovery of Witches-back-small Shadow of Night Harkness-back-small

The covers are designed by Tal Gorestsky.

See all of our recent coverage of series fantasy here.

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I REALLY wanted to like these books, but the change of Diana Bishop’s character from strong independent woman to someone so dependent on her vampire beau rubbed me the wrong way. By the end of the second book I was done.

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