Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Book of Life

Finished September 26
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

This is the third book in the trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches and continued with Shadow of Night and it does not disappoint. As it begins, Diana and Matthew are just arriving at Sept Tours to join the rest of the family and friends who have taken refuge there from the Congregation under the protection of the Knights of Lazarus. The reunion brings both job and sadness and Matthew and Diana begin to share their learning and discover what has happened in their absence. Further demands from the Congregation mean that all creatures other than vampires must disperse from the premises, Matthew and Diana choose to go back to Diana's home in the United States. There, they find ways to further Matthew's research into the DNA of creatures and specifically the genetic origin of the illness that plagues him and his vampire children. It is one of these children that has gone rogue and created havoc across Europe and North America, causing tragedy for the family and many others. Diana is also learning more about her powers and how to use them, gradually learning to rely on instinct as she figures out how to develop her own spells. Both Diana and Matthew are surprised to find a loved one from the past has also followed them to the future and struggle with what this means for them, and how to move forward to protect their family as it grows.
Taking us from France to North America, back to England and France, and to the Congregation's meetings in Venice, this novel reveals the true nature of creatures and their relationships to each other, as the Book of Life or Ashmole 782 is finally released from hiding and brought to life itself.
This series has shown a great deal of research and the story is a complex one that has the characters grow as they learn more about themselves and each other. I really enjoyed it, and found that the ending here leaves a door open for further adventures.

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