I would first of all like to thank Caitlin at Headline for sending me an ARC of The Book of Life. I quite literally screamed with excitement when I opened the envelope, it quite literally made my year. My only concern is that I do not possess the words to give this book the justice it truly deserves.
The Book of Life is the third and final instalment in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. It follows Diana, a witch and Matthew, a vampire, as they search for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782 and its missing pages. Ashmole 782, The Book of Life; a manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew find their relationship tested and experience no end of heartache on their mission to save them all.
I have loved this trilogy from book one after a friend recommended I read it, I was so mesmerised by the story of Matthew and Diana and greedily devoured both A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, and so I have been waiting for this book for years. I have been desperate to be reunited with Diana and Matthew and all of their friends and family, who I have come to know and love during the first two books and discover where their story was heading. The Book of Life certainly doesn’t disappoint….
First of all I shall start with the beautiful cover, it is stunning eye catching and perfectly compliments the first two books in the trilogy. Then we discover what is inside and that is where the magical truly lies…
The Book of Life picks up from where the Shadow of Night finished with Matthew and Diana returning to the present day to find Ashmole 782. I was immediately lost within the story, feeling as though I had never been away from Matthew and Diana story. As I have come to expect, this book was spellbinding and magical from start to finish. This of course left me with a dilemma, do I devour the book or take my time with it so as to prolong the magic and the ending of one of my favourite trilogies? As much as I was desperate to read and devour the book, I was not ready for my time with Matthew and Diana to be over and so I took my time with The Book of Life, savouring every moment.
I have spent ages thinking about this review and still I am struggling to find the words to express just how much I have loved this book. I can say though, that this book was the perfect ending to the trilogy, with some pretty brilliant and unexpected twists and turns, I will say no more about the plot as this is a book which needs to be read and enjoyed.
Deborah Harkness has a magical way with words and has managed to weave a spectacular tale which had me hooked. The Book of Life was fast paced and beautifully written. The characters I had come to love in the previous two books really shone in The Book of Life and I fell in love with Matthew and Diana even more as they developed further and more about their pasts were revealed. Each character is so beautifully portrayed that I could vividly imagine them and their complex and in-depth personalities, as I could the places visited in the book. As with the previous books, it is evident that Harkness has undertaken a lot of research, that and she has a brilliant imagination.
I honestly imagined I would be devastated when I finished The Book of Life and therefore the trilogy, but this was not the case. I was sad that my time with Matthew and Diana was at an end, but I feel that Harkness has managed an incredible feat and written a book which is quite simply perfect. Every loose end was brilliantly wrapped up and the ending, well I could not imagine a better way to leave my favourite characters and trilogy. The Book of Life is stunning and I am so pleased to have discovered this trilogy and had the opportunity to review this masterpiece.
So if you are looking for a spell binding read in which to lose yourself, then pick up this book (the whole trilogy if you are let to discover the trilogy). This is a book which truly deserves 5 stars. Thank you Deborah for giving me this trilogy, I know these are books I will enjoy time and again.