The Book of Life

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All Souls Trilogy: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

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.1

Diana and Matthew return to the present day to find they are not the only ones who have changed. Although Diana has learnt much from the past, there is still much more to learn. There are those enemies whose faces are known to them, but there are also those mysterious hands aiding them from the shadows. Time had come to their aid to escape, but it is time that is now working against them. The need to discover the truth behind all creatures, what unites them and what makes them different, could put an end to countless struggles and murders. It began with a discovery of witches, and it will end with a discovery of power from within.

The Book of Life takes us on an unforgettable adventure all over the globe. Diana and Matthew are searching for the missing pages from the Book of Life to discover what secrets and truths they hold. Witches, Vampires and Daemons are all vastly different creatures, but as the Bishop de Clairmont eclectic family and friends begin to grow, perhaps they are not so different after all.

Diana is a smart and strong woman who discovers strange and unique powers. The BoL follows Diana’s journey to understand it, as well as unleashing it’s true potential. Being different has put a target on her as well as her family, and there are those who want to keep the power in their own hands, and to snuff out the obscurities in the creature lines.

Matthew is our beloved, attentive and strong vampire scientist who also has a darkness within him. Blood rage is a vampire disease passed down from vampire to new born. There are those who have the disease but show no symptoms, and those who cannot control the deadly urges. Matthew struggles to find out more about the disease in hopes for a cure. Diana’s safety is his main concern, and when her safety is threatened, the darkness consumes him and makes him deadly and unstable. Matthew must learn to trust his wife and to control the disease in order to keep everyone safe. The shadows of the past have been blocking out the light for too long. Despite the difficulties ahead, Matthew must step out from the shadows and reveal the truth in order to become the leader he was meant to be.

The All Souls trilogy is a creative, magical adventure. The mix of historical fiction, science and magic create a fantastical, yet realistic backdrop to the stories. Deborah Harkness takes us deep into the heart of creature debates, the science behind it all, and the magic within. The characters are loveable, memorable and there are those that you wish to jump into the pages and strangle. The All Souls trilogy is an adult adventure with a magical twist that is well worth the read. The only thing left is to hope for a possible film for us to relive the magic, and to scrutinize the characters and visuals.

1. Book summary courtesy of Deborah Harkness’ web page

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