The Book of Life is the wonderful conclusion to the All Souls Trilogy that Deborah Harkness started with A Discovery of Witches. I was ridiculously lucky this last week when I was able to get a copy of both The Book of Life AND Diana’s Commonplace Book signed for the blog to give away!
If you’re not familiar with the Commonplace book – it’s from Shadow of Night when Diana kept a commonplace book and had to leave it the past when she and Matthew came back to present day. They didn’t make a ton of these commonplace books and they were pretty hard to find but I was able to get my hands on one to give away.
To enter to win the signed copies – just post a comment on this blog post and like us on Facebook (because it make it MUCH easier to find the winner!!). I will pick a winner via random.org. The contest is only open to those in the U.S. Contest will close Aug. 20th at midnight Eastern and the winner will be announced Aug. 21st.
Now… onto my review of the final book!
“It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.”
I fell in love with A Discovery of Witches and that love affair continued with Shadow of Night and right on into The Book of Life. Diana and Matthew arrive back in present time to find that not only are they much changed (what with Diana being pregnant with twins) but so has everyone they left behind. As they and all of their loved ones have to adjust and figure out how to get used to being around each other again they just don’t have the luxury of doing that or of mourning Emily properly who died at the end of the last book. Instead they are thrust right back into the hunt for Ashmole 782 and its’ missing pages.
The Book of Life spins a complex web of old and new characters throughout the book. We have the return of Sarah- Diana’s beloved Aunt, Ysabeau- Matthew’s vampiric mother, Corra – Diana’s familiar and the ever popular Gallowglass – Matthew’s vampiric nephew. But we also get a few new characters that surprised me with how much I liked them and their impact on the events.
In A Discovery of Witches we had rich and luscious descriptions of food and wine that seemed to characterize the book and in Shadow of Night there was the intense historical detail that was carefully sprinkled through every chapter. In The Book of Life the characters shined and were the focal point for me. The main characters were as great as always but the secondary characters seemed to come alive just as much. There was a lot of humor that surprised me and had me laughing out loud at certain point too.
“And before you ask, I can go outside during the day and my hair won’t catch fire in the sunlight. I’m Catholic and have a crucifix. When I sleep, which is not often, I prefer a bed to a coffin. If you try to stake me, the wood would likely splinter before it enters my skin.” He bared his teeth. “No fangs either. And one last thing: I do not, nor have I ever, sparkled.”
For me it’s rare that a trilogy finishes as strong as it began and this one did not disappoint at all. The plot was complex and intriguing and I can’t wait for my re-read to be able to go over the details again! Deborah Harkness did a wonderful job of mesmerizing from start to finish.
Don’t forget to comment here and to like our Facebook page for your chance to win a signed copy of The Book of Life and Diana’s Commonplace Book!