By Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 02, 2022
Season three of "A Discovery of Witches" comes out January 8. The popular television show is based on the All Souls series by Deborah Harkness. The story centers on history scholar Diana Bishop, a powerful, yet reluctant witch who inadvertently commands the full attention of the paranormal underworld when she summons a long-lost, enchanted manuscript. Amongst those taking notice is geneticist (and vampire) Matthew Clairmont who has long sought the elusive text. It is a sweeping tale of passion and obsession introducing an elaborate world akin to those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova.
Deborah Harkness's background as a historian and scholar lends credence to the story of the similarly credentialed Diana. Before her foray into fantasy, she published two works of historical nonfiction:
When Harkness published A Discovery of Witches in 2011, the novel debuted at number two on the New York Times Best Seller list. Coming out a year later, Shadow of Night nabbed the top spot. Fans had to wait a few years for the third book in the trilogy, The Book of Life. In 2018, Harkness released a companion guide, The World of All Souls, as well as a prequel. Time's Convert tells the origin story of Marcus Whitmore, Matthew's vampire son.
If you're already a fan of the All Souls world and anxiously awaiting the next installment, here are some similar reads to consider in the meantime.
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
This is book one in the Sookie Stackhouse series, which inspired the HBO hit, True Blood. The paranormal mysteries feature a small-town waitress-turned-paranormal sleuth who, like Diana Bishop, falls in love with a vampire.
Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz
Recommended by Harkness herself, the first book in The Beauchamp Family series introduces a family of formidable and beguiling witches. Joanna and her daughters, Freya and Ingrid, live a seemingly quiet existence. But they are harboring mighty secrets.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Like Harkness's work, this novel (the first in a series) builds on ancient folklore and history for a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York. Mythical beings Ahmad and Chava become unlikely soulmates.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
The first in The Winternight Trilogy, this medieval fairy tale casts an irresistible spell. Set on the edge of a deep, dark Russian forest, it is the story of Vasya, a young woman who must channel her hidden powers to save her village and herself.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
This YA series starter introduces a present-day twelve-year-old albino girl. Born in New York City, Sunny Nwazue struggles to find her place after her parents decide to relocate to their native Nigeria. But then she discovers her magical powers.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
In this pulse-pounding neo-noir thriller, Mexico City serves as an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo is a lonely garbage-collecting street kid when Atl, a beautiful, dangerous, jaded vampire swoops into his life. Domingo is mesmerized.
A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan
Like the One Souls trilogy, this novel tells the story of a magical lineage passed down through time. It's a sweeping historical saga tracing five generations of fiercely powerful mothers and daughters.
Paranormal romances offer truly spectacular passion and drama which is why we love them. If you've been enchanted by A Discovery of Witches, hopefully there's something here that will put a similar spell over you.