The final chapter of the Deborah Harkness three book trilogy in The Book of Life has me yearning to restart from the beginning of Book One. Finally, witch Diana has overcome the powers of darkness and united all creatures through magic and a little genetic research. Finally, she had become a woman of formidable power, a professor by day and head of a feisty Board of vampires, daemons, and witches by night – with her handsome brooding vampire lover, Matthew, at her side. The ending was satisfying and inevitable, but the journey is everything. If you have read the first two books, you will appreciate how cleverly Harkness uses history and ancestry to bind the story.
If you are a fan of Gabaldon’s Outlander, and can suspend belief while Harkness carries you away – all the while grounding you in the cycle of family dissension and worldly politics, you will find the same contented flavor of adventure, romance, and intrigue with the All Souls Trilogy. Harkness ends with a not so subtle message appropriate for today’s worldly unrest. If only we had her magic threads to tie us all together.
The Book of Life can stand alone, but if you want the total experience, start from the beginning – or at least read the reviews:
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead: a weekend on a beautiful New England island off Nantucket, preparing for the wedding that ends the book, includes disappointments, anxieties, mid-life crisis, wit and humor, insights and frustrations.
The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss: 19th century England, enchanted pages from a book engraved by the poet William Blake, Lord Byron (of the famous Romantic poets) as a handsome womanizer and political manipulator, Lucy Derrick comes into her supernatural powers and changes her destiny and the industrial revolution, other-worldly and fun.
If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad…Lord Byron