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All Souls Trilogy – Deborah Harkness

A side story to this trilogy is here: Time’s Convert

Title: All Souls Trilogy

Author: Deborah Harkness

Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Plot: A Discovery of Witches (Book 1) – Diana Bishop is a witch, in a long line of witches, who doesn’t want to be a witch. She is a historian at Oxford and while doing research with a book called Ashmole 782 starts drawing the attention of other creatures, witches, deamons, and vampires. One vampire in particular, Matthew Clairmont, is keen to keep others at bay. Against her better judgment, Diana starts to trust Matthew. They start working together to learn about Ashmole 782. A high ranking witch, Peter Knox, wants the book, too. He’ll do whatever he can to get it. Out of fear for her safety, Matthew takes Diana to his family home in France. Diana learns more about Matthews long history as a vampire. She also learns she has powers no one has seen in ages. Someone kidnaps Diana out of the Clairmont’s castle. Matthew is out for revenge to get her back. He does, but at what cost? Diana returns to her parent’s house and starts to learn about her magical abilities. Her aunt’s teach her. But her enemies are closing in. She needs to escape. Her best bet, escape to the past. Will she do it? What will happen there?

Shadow of Night (Book 2) – Diana and Matthew are in Elizabethan London looking for Ashmole 782. Matthew introduces him to his friends in that time. But things are more complicated in that time. While there, Diana starts to look for a teacher who can teach her more than her aunts. But witches in this time are in hiding because of some witch hunts. Matthew finds a lead on the Ashmole 782. But the cannot escape until Matthew confronts part of his past. Diana gets the chance to meet more of Matthew’s family. Will Matthew’s family help them escape? Will Diana find a tutor? Will they find the book?

The Book of Life (Book 3) – Matthew and Diana have found all the clues they could about the Ashmole 782. They almost had it, but lost it. Now they have to track it down in the present. Diana is a powerful witch now. Diana and Matthew now have to find their allies within all of the creature communities. Their enemies are closing in. They have a hard time convincing everyone that what they have learned is true. Even among friends they are unsure of who to trust. Soon they find the book, but pages are still missing. Where are the missing pages? Who has them? How can they convince others about the book? What is in the book? Who can they trust?

Rating: 3.5 – great read, good fantasy, a little political, but the characters seem to stray away from what they’re looking for and go on side quests, if you will.

Opinion: I really enjoyed the series. Though I wasn’t a fan of how the books seemed to wander. The characters seemed to get distracted about why they were in certain areas. I loved the different take on fantasy, especially the new take on vampires. The book had a good, realistic magic system. I enjoyed learning about the history in parts of Europe you don’t normally hear about. Despite the characters getting distracted, it really was a good series. I recommend this series for those who want a good fantasy and historical fiction series. The first book is also a TV show, made by the BBC, I think. It takes out some of the drama of the book and adds some different aspects of mystery.

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