Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Review: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness is the finale to a great trilogy.  In A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, we meet Diana Bishop, a woman finally learning about her witch powers. She’s a timewalker and a weaver – that’s a powerful combination. Falling in love with Michael Clairmont has proven problematic since he’s a powerful vampire from a strong family. However, together they demonstrate that love conquers a lot. Now the key mystery book and missing pages from Ashmole 782 again binds them to a daring finish to a battle of vampires, daemons, and witches.  

Returning from Elizabethan England, Diana and Michael face new enemies – many who are related and have even inherited his blood rage. Diana’s pregnancy adds a new urgency to the family lineage, as witches and vampires line up to question the powers of the upcoming children. Palatial homes, university laboratories, and rich libraries from Auvergne to Venice provide the backdrop for a chase, a mystery, murders, and a joyous birth. Harkness deepens “her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and present consequences.” (cover blurb) 

The All Souls Trilogy is rich in language and lore, with an intermingling of characters from the past. Harkness herself is a weaver – she casts a spell in her pacing and intrigue.  “Matthew and I were an alchemical marriage of vampire and witch, death and life, sun and moon. That combination of opposites created something finer, and more precious than either of us could ever have been separately. We were the tenth knot. Unbreakable. Without beginning or end.”  Read the series and rejoice in rooting for Diana and Matthew in the final Book of Life.


  1. The Trilogy sounds steeped in history, too. A weaver! A fascinating craft with so much history in itself. I could get into that in a big way if I weren't already over my head in Fiber Arts. I have seen this book on Amazon and wondered about it's origin and subject. Glad to read your review. It just might be one for the winter reading list. Good job, Joanne.

  2. Interesting! But I don't think I've ever read a book about vampires. Not my speed. Then again, I've been reading a lot of new-to-me genres the past couple years. Why not vampires, too? (But I absolutely refuse to read about brain-sucking zombies!)