Book Review: The Book of Life by Deberah Harkness

First I would like to say that this review will be brief as I don’t have much time to write a full and detailed review.

Also I would like to say that I didn’t realize that this book is a collection of a series called; All Souls Trilogy, and that this book is the third and final of that trilogy.

SYNOPSIS

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it. After travelling through time in SHADOW OF NIGHT, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchant-ing 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 in France they reunite with their families – with one heart-breaking exception. But the real threat to their future is yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on a terrifying urgency. Using ancient knowl-edge and modern science, from the palaces of Venice and beyond, Diana and Matthew will finally learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

The book was very enjoyable to read and as the story unfolded I was able to follow the theme and plot even though I missed the first two books in the series.

The main characters develop throughout the story especially Diana who spent most of the book heavily pregnant was really fun to read and her learning process of using magic and the new skills of weaving was very enjoyable. And I really liked how her weaving power was expressed through colourfull cords.

I also liked how our characters lived in a dark hidden world that was still connected to the mediaeval period but with a mix of modern technology and science. Most of the creatures are hundreds or thousands of years old and hold a huge monopoly in the everyday world. When a character wanted something very important such as an old book or even a map it was very interesting to read that nearly every vampire, demon or witch had someone accessible in government to get them what they wanted. I felt that the vampires and demons where the upper-class and the witches where the lower.

The development and use of magic was really good and I like how Diana was able to grow as a weaver, a creator of spells, and how she was able to blend with the book of life to fully release her power. Again the magic was seen as cords connecting the magic together and Diana as a weaver could see the knots to tie or untangle the magic which was an interesting way to describe how magic was used in this book.

The ending was a little disappointing with the main villain as he was killed off very quickly. I understand that the main ending was how Diana, Matthew and their children where the change from the old to the new age and that changing the rules of the creature world was the climax of the story.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

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