Book Review: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy Book #3) by Deborah Harkness

Posted July 30, 2014 by @Angelized_1st in Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy Book #3) by Deborah HarknessThe Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
Series: All Souls Trilogy,
Published by Penguin on May 26th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 576
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9780143127529
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

The #1 New York Times bestselling series finale and sequel to A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night

Fans of the All Souls Trilogy sent this highly anticipated finale straight to #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. Bringing the series’ magic and suspense to a deeply satisfying conclusion, The Book of Life is poised to become an even bigger phenomenon in paperback.

Diana and Matthew time-travel back from Elizabethan London to make a dramatic return to the present—facing new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home, Sept-Tours, they reunite with the beloved 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.

After a book-long time jump, Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face their enemies and continue the search for Ashmole 782. While their trip to the past was fun, it was great to see the all characters we’ve met in the previous two books interact with one another. Like the other books in the series, some lingering questions were answered while the overarching mystery of the enchanted manuscript was finally solved in a satisfying way.

Harkness continues to explore her theme of past deeds carrying their consequences into the future, and how family can mean more than blood. Through her writing, Harkness created a vivid world in which her characters live and uses actual history to make it seem very real.

What I loved about this book (as well as the other two) is the relationship between Claire and Matthew. The two of them care a lot for each other, and it was great to see how much they’ve grown over the course of the trilogy. Matthew allowed Claire the latitude to be who she is and had faith in Claire’s possession of her power. Claire realized that Matthew needed to feel needed, and didn’t fight his protective urges unnecessarily. I also loved how likable many of the other characters were. By the end of the series, Gallowglass and Philip were two of my favorites as I loved how their connections to Claire and Matthew took the story in a different direction than anticipated.

As for what I didn’t like, I don’t have much to say on that front. Harkness did a wonderful job designing the mystery of the manuscript and Diana and Matthew’s connection to it. In fact, she did such a good job that it seems obvious that Harkness must have planned out the entire story arc before ever writing the first word in the first book. All of the pieces connected well, and no loose ends were left dangling. A wonderful ending to a great series!

Rating Report
Overall: 4.6

About Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and has lived in western Massachusetts, the Chicago area, Northern California, upstate New York, and Southern California. She’s also lived in the United Kingdom in the cities of Oxford and London.

For the past twenty-eight years she’s been a student and scholar of history, and received degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University, and the University of California at Davis. During that time she researched the history of magic and science in Europe, especially during the period from 1500 to 1700. Currently, she teaches European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Her career in fiction began in September 2008 when she began to wonder “if there really are witches and vampires, what do they do for a living?” A Discovery of Witches is the unexpected answer to that question. The book debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, and was also a bestseller in the UK, France, and Germany. In total, more than thirty-eight foreign editions and translations of volumes from the trilogy have been published. The story of Diana and Matthew continued in two subsequent sequels. Harkness has also written several non-fiction books, and in her spare time likes to blog about wine.


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