A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, The Book of Life
witches, vampires, romance
It started with the discovery of a bewitched alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, in Oxford's Bodleian Library. A manuscript that was sought for thousands of years by the witches, the vampires and the demons. Historian, Diana Bishop's life flipped over and made her face her fears and the world that she has been hiding from. She embarked on a journey that took her back in time, tested her beliefs and led her to discover the magical power in her.
Diana Bishop is a historian at Oxford University, England. Though she descended from a long line of witches, she has been hiding from the world of witches, denying the powers that run through her family.
Matthew Clairmont, a 1500-year-old vampire, is a geneticist. He sought after the manuscript for answers he has been looking for all his life.
"A Discovery of Witches" tells the story about the discovery of Ashmole 782, Diana's dilemma and her meeting with Matthew. Diana's life changed after the discovery and the meeting. With her life threatened, she was forced to face the magic and put her trust in a vampire that held so many secrets. But will she be able to fit into the magical world and find her powers to save her life?
The second book, "Shadow of Night" took us through time as Diana and Matthew traveled back in time to find a powerful witch to help Diana with her powers. Traveling back in time brought Diana closer to Matthew and at the same time further as she discovered parts of the vampire that she would not had they not embark on the journey. The book questioned Diana's faith in 'love' itself and to what extend was she willing to go for it.
And the last book, "The Book of Life" brought us back to the present. As it was the last book, it answered all the questions that piled up from the first and second book - the answers to Ashmole 782 and of course, Diana-Matthew not-so-complicated relationship.
The beginning of first book reminded me of 'Twilight' - Bella and Edward Cullen love story etc, minus the immaturity and shallowness. However, somewhere in the middle of the book, it took a turn. A good one. Deborah Harkness combined fantasy, love story and science fiction in this trilogy. For example, the genetic insights of witches. Matthew Clairmont's character in the story is not just about providing testosterone. The character took the story beyond the magic and romance into the world of molecular biology and made us ask - if witches or vampires exist, are their genomes the same as ours?
While the trilogy falls under "Fantasy & Science Fiction" section in the bookstores, the plot is not very complicated (compared to Game of Thrones). The romance in the book balanced it off.
What I love?
The plot is awesome. Deborah Harkness got me hooked from the first book. The inclusion of science in the story is a plus point for a geek like me.
The writing - I love the detailed description of the characters and the situations. I love how the characters in the book were allowed to develop, we learned more about the main characters in the story.
Matthew Clairmont. A filthy rich vampire with a superhero-disease who is a geneticists. A character that surpassed any other vampire character that I can think of.
What I hate?
In the second book, there was a part that it was too focused on the romance between Diana and Matthew that made me question if it was necessary. Well, it was, to allow the development of Diana and Matthew's characters.
It's a story about a witch and a vampire, and their journey to find the secrets behind the bewitched manuscript, Ashmole 782.
Get the books:
1. All Souls Trilogy (Three Books Box Set)
2. A Discovery of Witches
3. Shadow of Night
4. The Book of Life
Labels: book reviews