Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness


Hi Book Worms :)

I just finished reading The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. The Book of Life is the third and final book in the All Souls Trilogy. I happened upon this trilogy through a random email from Amazon suggesting that I might enjoy it. As usual, they were right. 

This trilogy focuses on the lives of some otherworldly creatures-- namely witches, vampires, and daemons. I know what you might be thinking, "Really, another series about vampires? Come on." But this isn't like the Twilight Saga. Harkness does a phenomenal job at developing the characters and relationships throughout the books. You feel invested. When a character falls in love, you fall in love. When a character dies, part of your heart breaks as well.  

What I really enjoyed about this book was how much historical fiction it contained. Obviously, the story was made up, but some of the characters were real people who lived in the past. There were references to Queen Elizabeth, William Shakespeare, John Dee and many others. It was very easy to get pulled into this story and feel a connection to the characters. 

The Book of Life is a tale about discovering and accepting who you are, and finding peace with that. It's about overcoming fear and standing up for what is right, especially when it comes to those you love. It's about relationships, sacrifice, justice, knowledge, and the evil that can be done by those who seek absolute power. 

The book blends ancient alchemy and modern day science to discover the reason the Weavers (a type of witch) are able to conceive and bear children with Blood-Rage Vampires. You'll need to read the book to find out what that all means, but it's totally worth it :) 

There were plenty of twists and turns that left you wondering how the  story might actually end. The attention to detail- in everything from the surroundings, clothing, thoughts, personalities, and historical accuracy- really blew me away. Harkness did a great job at giving the readers necessary pieces of information to help lead them to the conclusion, without giving everything away.

As with any good book, you finish with wanting more. You want to know what happens post-Book of Life to the characters. 

  • Did Gallowglass fall in love and find a mate? 
  • Did Diana and Matthew have more children? 
  • What were Gerbet and Dominico plotting after The Congregation ruled in favor of Matthew and Diana? 
These are just a few questions I would love to know more about. 

If you're looking for a new book, and are in the mood for some mystery, adventure, and love- I highly recommend The Book of Life

I give this book five stars.

Here's a brief synopsis of The Book of Life

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 home 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.