After reading Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness earlier this year, I didn’t wait too long to read, The Book of Life, the final instalment in Harkness’ paranormal romance All Souls series.
Having grown in her powers and now pregnant with miraculous twins, Diana Bishop and her husband Matthew must return from Elizabethan England to the present time. However they still have many powerful enemies to contend with; in particular the Congregation are out for blood over their forbidden marriage and they also fear their unborn children. Diana must keep under the radar and surround herself with friends and family. While they look for a way to get their hands on the bewitched manuscript, Ashmole 782, which they hope will finally give them the knowledge to defeating their enemies and prejudice forever.
Through these books it has been nice to see Diana grow as a woman, witch, mother and matriarch. Sadly I am still not that enamoured with Matthew, because of his vampire possessive-ness, so it was great to see them spend some time apart in this book. Giving Diana the chance to shine and she even whoops some ass too! Another powerful element of this book is Diana and Matthew’s return to the present, leaving behind friends and loved ones in the past. While Diana and Matthew’s time walk took only minutes, many of these friends and loved have waited hundreds of years to see them again or have sadly passed away – some really poignant points arose from this.
I continued to love the detailed and immersive style and world Harkness conjured; and all the historical, alchemical, literary and art references and details. I also enjoyed the pace of this book, as the characters whizzed around the world to keep under the radar and to discover the truth. We spent time in the ancient Der Clermont seat at Sept-Tours, France; the eccentric Bishop home in Madison, USA (one of my favourites); Matthew’s grand London townhouse, England; the Congregation’s headquarters in the historical Venice, Italy; and many more fantastic locations. This book truly went international which helped keep me gripped to the end.
The Book of Life was an interesting and satisfying ending to this well written paranormal series; full of history, magic and art. Good read.
Thank you to the publishers for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Have you read this? Or any of the previous books in the series?
Once Upon a Time X – #1