A Discovery of Witches just started its second season, but before it was a romantic, time-travel television series (a la Outlander), it was a trilogy of fun, suspenseful books.
Called The All Souls Trilogy ($48.60 for the books, $34 for Kindle version) the set consists of A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life. And, thankfully, the show has been faithful to them so far. However, like most adaptations, there are some differences—mainly because the books are so dense with characters and plot turns, it would be impossible not to edit them for the screen. Author Deborah Harkness is an executive producer on the show, so we also know things will never roam too far.
The story centers on the epic, forbidden romance between a witch and a vampire, and in Season 1, we are introduced to the star-crossed lovers at Oxford University. Here we are duly pulled into Diana Bishop’s (Teresa Palmer) journey to finding out, and accepting, that she is indeed a witch after she stumbles upon a manuscript that has riled up the entire supernatural community (including All American star Daniel Ezra as a foxy daemon). Of course, she is helped along with this information by a gorgeous, rich, very charming Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode), who ends up falling in love and protecting Diana from the mystical powers that be.
The second book, Shadow of Night, focuses on Matthew and Diana’s trip back in time to Elizabethan London and Matthews past, while the The Book of Life, the final chapter of the series, brings them back to the present to conclude their heroic struggles—and maybe live happily ever after?
Harkness, who studied the history of magic and science in early modern Europe for her master’s degree from Northwestern University, also spent a year at Oxford on a Fulbright scholarship—which explains why the school plays such a pivotal role in the series. What we are treated to is a smart, sincere narrative full of well-rounded characters, lyrical prose and captivating settings which are worth turning all those pages.
You can catch Season 2 on Sundance Now, Shudder, and AMC+ or on through this Amazon Channel. You can also purchase Season 1 if you want to be properly caught up.
Buy the All Souls Trilogy on Amazon.com