After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.
My life has been a series of left turns that nevertheless took me in the right direction (though it didn’t always seem so at the time). I went to college to be a theater major and ended up studying the Renaissance. I went to grad school to become a college administrator and loved to teach so much I became a college professor instead. I thought I wanted to be a Tudor-Stuart historian, and found myself a historian of science. I started blogging because a friend needed help on a project in 2006 and am still blogging about wine today. I started writing a novel in the fall of 2008, and it became a New York Times Bestseller in February 2011: A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. The second volume in the All Souls Trilogy, SHADOW OF NIGHT, came out in July 2012 and debuted at #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller’s List. What’s next? The final volume of the trilogy, of course: THE BOOK OF LIFE, coming July 15 2014 to the US, UK, Canada, and Republic of Ireland.
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve been waiting patiently for this book for what seems like forever. When I saw it at BEA I flailed and then found myself waiting in a line I wasn’t expecting to be in just so I could get it into my greedy hands.
This is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy and ultimately when I turned the last page I was happy with the story Deb Harkness gave us readers and fans.
There is very little I can tell you about this installment without spoiling this for you, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet and slightly vague – no details – sorry!
Let me just tell you up front what I took a star away for… I felt like there was a lot in this book that could have been omitted. I’m not going to get into specifics, and I guess the more I think about it, the previous books were probably similar so It’s not a horrible surprise that it was here as well, but I felt that there were just some things that really slowed the pace of the story for me.
Aside from that, one of my other major complaints over the entire series has been the vast number of characters in this story and I find it hard to keep straight who is who, especially if they are peripheral characters. While for the most part this book didn’t introduce us to anyone new, I still struggled a bit in remembering who was who.
Since there was such a big break between the release of book 2 and book 3 I struggled a bit to remember where I we had been left, so my biggest recommendation would be to go back and read the last few chapters of Shadow of Night before starting this one… Then dive in!!
Let me just tell you though, once I did get sucked back into Matthew and Diana’s lives I was completely entranced with the story again. Harkness weaves an amazing and captivating story filled with action and adventure, love and romance and memorable characters that will have you wishing this wasn’t really the end.
If you’re looking for something that will have you turning pages as fast as you can, wondering if these amazing characters will get their HEA and yet swooning at the love story being shared, this series is for you. *flail for every single time Matthew calls Diana ‘Mon Coeur’*
Thank you so much to Penguin for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.