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.
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
5+ out of 5
So, I was extra excited to read this book. I mean, I had been waiting 2 years for this book, and I couldn't wait to start this book! I loved it! And what a great conclusion!
So the beginning was really big. Learning so much about what happened to Emily, the knights of Lazarus, ghosts, and everything else that Diana & Matthew missed while timewalking. It is almost an overload of information. But in some ways I think that was the best, because you know that it was an overload for Diana and Matthew.
Gosh, I disliked Baldwin! The ass is a bigger ass than I first thought. Ugh! But then he suddenly was an awesome character. I'm not sure what happened, but I will say that Baldwin became one big surprise by the end of this book... And I can honestly say by the end, I did like him.
So many secrets in a vampire's life... It really is the bread and butter of the vampires. It is so sad to learn some of those secrets: Ysabeau's actual creation & the beginning of her vampiric life; the truth about blood rage; & Matthew's son Benjamin. You can't help but wonder that if the life is eternal (for lack of a better term), why keep all those secrets and burdens to yourself?
Now, for me, I have been wondering about Annie and Jack since the end of 2nd book. And we finally get an answer. Poor Annie will not be seen again, which does make me a bit sad. But then there is Jack! And I couldn't help but cheer.. But then, it became poor Jack... And then Damn it! I hate Baldwin! Argh!
There was so much researching in this book, much more than in the previous books. Between the library, the lab, all the auction houses, and the Book of Life itself, we learned a lot more about the supernatural than we have before. I liked that.
Wow! About 1/2 way through the book, we get the big reveal about Benjamin & who his children are. It had me surprised and shocked, because I definitely was not expecting that. And what made it worse was how much I more I hated Benjamin after that reveal.
So, I never really liked Miriam before this book, but boy did she grow on me. She is one sassy vampire with a dry sense of humor that I loved!
OMGoodness! I love Gallowglass. I mean, between him and Ysabeau, he is one of my favorite characters from this trilogy. I love him and wouldn't mind having him as my personal bodyguard. And then there was his big reveal about his feelings, about Diana... Wooow! I do so hope that he finds someone that will love him too (wouldn't be nice if he got his own book.... Hmmmm, nice!)
Now on to my other favorite character from this trilogy: Ysabeau. I absolutely love her. She is so strong, is a kick-ass warrior, and a loving mother & grandmother. It all was great, but even better was seeing how she evolved from a witch-hating vampire to the supportive rock that Diana needed to succeed in her mission to save her husband and children.
I was excited and scared when Diana told Matthew to start his own Scion, primarily because she knew if she didn't, he would possibly be forced to kill his own children. But who knew what would have happened, and what struggles would happen because of them being separated. But I was so glad it happened.
I liked meeting Fernando. He strikes me as a sassy gay man... Which did get me thinking: Were there sassy gay men in medieval Europe? But beyond this question, I think that Fernando is the perfect balance for almost every character. He is the best friend for Sarah. He is the common sense for Matthew. He is the protector & educator for Diana. He is the older brother for Marcus. He seems to be exactly what everyone needs when they need it.
I loved Philippe's big reveal... And I think that Diana was not surprised. The fact that he knew that she would be the one to carry his burdens, that put a lot of his scheming into perspective.
When we finally understand what (and who) the Book of Life is, what it means to witches, vampires, & daemons, and what it means to humans too, was just so cool. And when we see how it is linked between Diana, the weavers, the bloodrage-afflicted vampires, and the children born of those unions, it is beyond amazing.
This was one ultimate ending to such an amazing trilogy, and yet, I'm dying for more. I want more stories of the Bishop-Clairmont clan, and of their friends & family. Overall, this is an amazing book, and it was the best one yet. I can't wait to read more by Ms. Harkness (hopefully one day soon!). I highly recommend this book & this trilogy!