Series Review: All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Just because something seems impossible doesn’t make it untrue.” 
― Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches
Series Title: All Souls Trilogy
Books in Series: A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publication Date: 2011, 2012, 2014
Genres: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 3.98 Stars 
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

The All Souls Trilogy follows the story of Diana Bishop, a historian and reluctant witch, as she solves the mystery of Ashmole 782, falls in love with a mysterious vampire named Matthew Clairmont, and learns how powerful it can be to accept who you are.

Disclaimer from Me: These books sound like the Twilight series. The first one (with the love story) even seems a bit like the same story. IT IS NOT. I repeat: These books are Twilight but sososososo much better. If you (think you) liked Twilight, you will love these books. And if you didn’t like Twilight at all, you will probably still love these books.

1. Diana Bishop is awesome. The main character of this novel is Dr. Diana Bishop. That’s right. The main character has her Ph.D. and is tenured at Yale. The major difference between these books and the Twilight series is that Diana is NOTHING like Bella. Diana is strong, kick-ass, and talented in her own right, as she descended from Bridget Bishop (who you may know from the Salem Witch Trials). Diana isn’t needy or whiney or depressive, but rather, she pushes forward and, without spoilers, is the opposite of a Damsel in Distress.

2. Everyone is so darn smart. I learned so much about genetics, alchemy, and history through reading these books. Deborah Harkness, the author, is a historian and scholar, and the fact that she wrote two nonfiction books about both alchemy and the scientific revolution before writing fiction shows that she knows what she’s talking about.

3. The writing in these books! Ok, so, the writing in here is phenomenal. I know you are thinking to yourself, “Why is she writing a review on all three books?” Um, because I read them all within one week. No, I didn’t clean or cook or even pretend to be a human. I just got suckered into these books. Trust me, make sure you have the sequels ready after you read the first one.

These books wrapped me up and sucked me in, even though they are completely different from the books I normally read. 

“In this room we understand why this war might be fought…it’s about our common belief that no one has the right to tell two creatures that they cannot love each other–no matter what their species.”

“It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.” 
“Somewhere in the center of my soul, a rusty chain began to unwind. It freed itself, link by link, from where it had rested, unobserved, waiting for him. My hands, which had been balled up and pressed against his chest, unfurled with it. The chain continued to drop, to an unfathomable depth where there was nothing but darkness and Matthew. At last it snapped to its full length, anchoring me to a vampire. Despite the manuscript, despite the fact that my hands contained enough voltage to run a microwave, and despite the photograph, as long as I was connected to him, I was safe.”
“As fast as I can tell there are only two emotions that keep the world spinning year after year…One is fear. The other is desire.”

5 thoughts on “Series Review: All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

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