(recent read) The All Souls Trilogy

Today everyone can finally read the conclusion to Deborah Harkness‘ All Souls Trilogy, The Book of Life. I was very lucky to receive an early copy through NetGalley. It’s been difficult knowing the conclusion to the series and not being able to share it with anyone so I persuaded Teabird to request a copy so I could talk about it with someone without risk of spoilers!


Is this series worth your time? Yes, though I know it’s not a series for all readers. It is (mostly) contemporary fantasy novel with vampires and other creatures. Don’t worry, the vampires aren’t shiny (though they are sexy).

The books include every hook to catch me and make me want to read them, do I really need to spell it out?

  • It’s the story of Diana Bishop, a woman who through childhood tragedy turned her back on her heritage and worked hard to be the successful woman to whom we are first introduced.
  • It’s the story of Matthew Clairmont, a man of intrigue and secrets who loves against the odds.
  • It’s the story of a rare book with a complicated past that will influence the future.
  • It’s the story of a society on the cusp of change where tradition and secrecy have long been the rule.
  • It’s the story of location, location, location: Oxford University, France, and London (among other places).

I highly recommend rereading both Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night before jumping into this final book for the trilogy. Upon receiving my e-copy of this third volume, I jumped straight in and while it was enjoyable, I found that having my memory refreshed by rereading the first two books before the conclusion increased my enjoyment of the middle volume and clarified people and places I encountered on the way to the end.

You can find some of my thoughts about The Book of Life at GoodReads. If I can ever figure out how to write a fiction review without fearing spoilers I’ll revise it.

I highly recommend this trilogy and think you should set aside time to read it all at once. It’s fun indulgent reading and I look forward to reading more of Harkness‘ work.