Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Reads: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

I look forward to new book releases every week...but this particular book - well, I've had it's release date on my calendar since the moment it was announced.  I pre-ordered the book as early as I could and I downloaded it the second I woke up last Tuesday.   So to say I was excited for the last installment of Deborah Harkness's All souls Trilogy would be an extreme understatement.  Breathlessly awaiting is more like it.

In case you have no clue what I am talking about - here are my reviews for the first two books in the trilogy.   They are some of the most intelligent, creative and well-written fiction I have read in years.   If you haven't started reading them yet - you NEED to.

A Discovery of Witches | Shadow of Night

In this third instalment, Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont are about to become parents - to twins.  Something that should be impossible between a vampire and a witch but that appear completely plausible for this unique pair.   They are still searching for the missing pages from the Book of Life.   Add to this that Matthew needs to resume his work to find a cure for the blood rage which he struggles daily to control and the introduction of one of Diana's old colleagues who is ready to help with the genetic research to do so.  Then there is that little matter of trying to stop one of Matthew's rogue "children" from his own scientific experiments on witches.  

The book takes place all over the world: London, New York, Connecticut, France, Poland, Venice.   If we thought we had a glimpse at the world of the de Clermonts before - it was nothing compared to what is revealed in this book.  And the answers that are discovered to all of their questions put an ultimate test to everything they believed about both science and magic.

I feel like I can't say too much, for fear of spoilers.  Perhaps all you really need is the jacket description:
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 homes 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.   
I wasn't sure that Diana and Matthew's story was one that could be summed up in three books, but Harkness has done a great job tying up the lose ends for them.  She leaves the readers with a sense that "Happily Ever After" has it's own definition for everyone and that the time has come for their story to live on outside the lines.

The wrap up was well worth the two years wait.  I can't wait to see what Harkness will put out next.  She has truly cemented herself as one of my favourite authors.

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