All Souls Trilogy Hits All-Time High for Enthralling Conclusion | Review: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

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While my feelings for this series began in a lukewarm manner, The Book of Life proved to be the very best installment. And. Was. SO. Good. (In my opinion.)


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

Bringing the magic and suspense of the All Souls Trilogy to a deeply satisfying conclusion, this highly anticipated finale went straight to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. In The Book of Life, 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.

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness 
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

“It’s one thing to wander in the darkness because you know no different, but it’s quite another to enjoy the light only to have it taken from you.”

It's a shame that the most impressive installment in Deborah Harkness' much beloved All Souls Trilogy was the conclusion. Deeply imaginative, romantic and full of heart-pounding suspense I found myself enjoying The Book of Life much more than the previous two novels. It was, without a doubt, the first time I fully aligned myself with these characters and became a fan of the world.

Saying goodbye was emotional, but I am fairly satisfied with where this novel leaves things. The very heart and soul of this trilogy lays in three things: history, magic and love. The love of family. The love of another person who comes into our lives unexpectedly. There is a time for grief and fear. There is a time for hope and accomplishment and new beginnings.

The Book of Life is fast to explore these things, these moments, and takes readers on new, captivating journeys all the way to something like happily ever after. Part of me wondered when and how the series would end--I knew the gist of endgames and probable conclusions--and if Harkness could successfully give an ending free of ties and static. Thankfully, The Book of Life proved to be the strongest installment.

Let's start with the obvious points: I love Gallowglass above all the characters in the series and I mourned the loss of Emily for quite a while. Further, I love seeing the families reunite in the modern timeline and witnessing the sprinkles of history throughout The Book of Life. Most of all, I enjoyed seeing the history that Diana Bishop seeks, in her research, and the history that she created, come together at the center.

All roads were building, leading, to this finale.

I felt like now that Diana is back in her own time, the world fell into place a bit more and we were able to see more ties to the past vs. the present, as well seeing her embrace and understand the real powers she possesses. I felt like she really grew into who she was always meant to be and Harkness did a great job bringing this to the light.

While the series has had its ups and downs, its comparisons to other series and stories, and hasn't always been my favourite, The Book of Life stands on its own. Captivating, full of life and magic, love and loss, the final chapter of Diana and Matthew holds dear to the heart and reminds us of all the things that life can bring us. This may be one of my favourite series finales of all the 2010s. I was mesmerized from start to finish--and feel as though I should go back and reread the first two books to put pieces of the bigger picture together, despite my lower ratings for the two. 

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