The Book of LifeDeborah Harkness

The Book of Life

4.5 star

Total 4,205 Ratings

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness Book Summary

The #1 New York Times bestselling series finale--sequel to A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, that sets up Time's Convert.
Look for the hit TV series “A Discovery of Witches” airing Sundays on AMC and BBC America, and streaming on Sundance Now and Shudder.
After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.
With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

The Book of Life (Deborah Harkness) Book Reviews

The Book of LifeHow can this be the end of a trilogy? Say it's not so!.Score: 4/5

Just finished reading the entire seriesWhere do I begin? The first two books I absolutely loved. They were very well written. The romance, magic and history was very educational. A lot of what this author wrote was very accurate in the pagan world as well as in the 16th century. I loved the build up to book 3. When I opened book three I was so excited to see Diana utterly destroy her enemies but, it seemed to be rushed and there wasn’t much of a fight scene. I was waiting for annihilation and what I got was words and a little magic. I also didn’t understand why she was able to hold the Book of Life in the 16th century without it being absorbed into her body. When she went back to her time and got the book, all of its knowledge and power became Diana’s as her absorbed it this time. And I don’t like how we were left hanging with Gallowglass. He was my favorite character and I’m sorry he didn’t get a better outcome..Score: 3/5

Great trilogyI read all three books in just a few days. The storyline and characters were engaging, the prose crisp and entertaining, the books actually written for adults, not teens. I certainly hope we see more of Diana and Matthew in future stories by Dr. Harkness. I highly enjoyed reading these, and would read more if she wrote them..Score: 5/5

ThrillingThis book is thrilling and exciting. I loved reading it and it was perfect while under quarantine..Score: 5/5

IncredibleI never review books but this one and the whole series was fascinating. Well done.Score: 5/5

I felt like I was in the room with them!Every book in this series is written so descriptively…from clothing to furnishings to buildings to nature. I felt like I was with the characters every step of the way..Score: 5/5

The Book of LifeI love all the three books. I have to say that I was a little dissatisfied with the luck of more of a semi end in the first two. The tactic did work because I reserve book 3 month in advance and couldn't wait to read it. I love the detail and long end that allow us readers to enjoy some well deserve and earn moment in Diana and Mathew's life's. Great vocabulary, I truly enjoy the week detailed history settings that illustrated so well the multidimensional aspects of each character. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world..Score: 5/5

WOW, what a book!I am in love. I have now read Deborah Harkness series of books, A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and now finally The Book of Life, at least three times through. They are addictive. I love her world, which feels truly possible, and the intrigue which grabs you and holds on, but is never overwhelming. I love her writing. With the threads left waving tantalizingly in the breeze at the trio's finish, I most truly hope that there will someday be a 4th book and more. PLEASE! And many thanks for the many hours of heavenly reading..Score: 5/5

I was disappointed with the writingPerhaps spoiler alert*** I tore through the first 2 books and then waited about 9 months for this one. It may be me, but I felt this book did way to much "telling." By this I mean stating in a sentence things like 'Matthew would never feel at rest again until Benjamin was dead.' Well duh. I was insulted at the pedantic narrative which I do not recall irritating me in the first two books. Maybe it was there and I over looked it. But perhaps, maybe, this one was over written, over thought, and due to the success of the first two the author second guessed herself adding in telling when she had already shown. A better editor perchance? The story itself wound down to a predictable yet satisfying end. Tale well conceived, just not well told all the way through. Still, I am quite glad to have read them..Score: 3/5

A discoveryI was enchanted by the Trilogy! The only thing I didn’t like was that it ended. Brilliant!.Score: 5/5

What a letdownThis trilogy certain went downhill from the original book. So much build up and anticipation for...nothing. It felt disjointed and as if Ms. Harkness just wanted to finish so she could grab that fat check from her publisher. The book tried way to hard to be intriguingly intrictate and failed on a monumental level. Too bad, because I fell in love with the first book. 2 & 3 just disappointed..Score: 1/5

Five stars! Could not put it downMy favorite book out of the trilogy. LOVED it. I love Mathew and Diana! :).Score: 5/5

An entirely satisfying end to the trilogyI would happily continue reading books in this series should the author choose to continue the story of these amazing characters. I couldn’t put this one down..Score: 5/5

Incredible Series!This trilogy is the best I have ever read! It captured everything in my soul. These books began and ended with such grace! Absolutely loved these books and will no doubt read them again!.Score: 5/5

Must read!!I love this trilogy. I couldn't put it down!! This will definitely be read over and over..Score: 5/5

Just. Can't. Care. Anymore.Loved the first book, found second one fascinating (love me some time travel), continue to appreciate the authors period knowledge and expertise...but the magic just isn't working for me any longer. More a feeling of an already well played-out idea being kept alive too long than anything particularly wrong with the third book in the series. I find myself slogging through book 3 out of a sense of obligation. I just can't drum up enthusiasm for humorless Matthew, (who to be honest was never quite distinct enough a personality to keep me in his thrall. In the category of literary hero's scar/wound/weakness, "blood rage" just isn't interestingly enough elaborated to justify its status as dental plot point. (A vampire who kills. A lot. How is this scariere than uninflected gap,sa) Of course I am perplexed to find Yale lab techs and Bodliein librarians so unflummoxed by the creatures among them (maybe bemusement is better than hair-renting hysteria--certainly it's easier for the plot--but it hardly rings more true), but it can be funny as well in a Men in Black sort of way. I is must admit that I just cannot keep straight the cast of characters at this point, wish there were better resources to refresh one's memory of the long, intertwining histories and relationships, but even online searches have not yielded much in the way of a cheat sheet useful at the level I would want.. It is especially the Fernando/ Hugh/Baldwin/Hamish level vampiric characters who seem to have me beat, with their various yet vague levels of benevolence and threat. Finally it is the darn book at the heart of the story: I can't maintain the fascination with ash mole 782 that the plot requires.....Score: 3/5

MoreWish it would have continued to know more about the children and how they grew up and into which creatures..Score: 5/5

A discovery of witchesBeautifully written, wonderful serious. I would like to read more by this author..Score: 5/5

The tv-show is way better ^_^I’m torn but it gets five stars either way. Love the beginning and the first chapters go by quick but then there are frigging long descriptions and frankly encounters with characters that slow down the whole thing and makes it rather boring..pedantic:-/ honestly I read diligently till they are going to look for TJ Weston but then I skimmed through couldn’t bear anymore those pointless and lifeless chapters.. went straight where the action was. This to say it would have probably worked better with ten, fifteen chapter less and if the book was too thin it would have probably been better suited for a single novel or one plus its sequel not a trilogy though... I’m glad the tv-show isn’t boring as the book, kudos to the screenplay’s writers for adapting and cutting unnecessary characters and events..I’m very looking forward to the third and last season I bought the book (and audiobook too in an attempt to keep my enthusiasm high..) only for this reason.. had season three been out I would’ve not bought the book at all- sorry...Score: 5/5

A great end to a great seriesI loved this book as much as the first two. Very entertaining and easy to read..Score: 4/5

Excellent TrilogyI found this trilogy to be the most interesting and entertaining of any series I have ever read. Wish there could be another one to go on a bit further!.Score: 5/5


One of my favorite reads of all timeUtterly awesome read. Thank you for placing the DeClarmonts into my life. I sincerely hope that more volumes of this amazing family will follow in the future. It's simply too good not to continue..Score: 5/5

Hits lots of my ‘interest buttons’The medieval settings of parts of the book, medical research, Occitan language, herbalism... The research skills that went into the world-building, settings, plot, and characters made them vivid and plausible. I don’t give 5-star reviews very often, but at least the first trilogy of this series gets that for each title. I like these well enough to gave purchased them in hb, pb, and e- formats..Score: 5/5

Awesome readI've read all three books and loved each and every one..Score: 5/5

Outstanding Read!From the moment I picked up the first book in the "All Souls Trilogy" I was hooked. The trilogy is a delightful mix of fantasy, history, science, and of course a love story. I found myself completely vested in the story and the lives of the characters. I read whenever I had a spare moment to get in a few pages. When the story ended, it was like parting ways with good friends. I wanted there to be more..Score: 5/5

I great final book.Sad that it is officially over..Score: 5/5

The Book of LifeAbsolutely the best trilogy! Should be made into a movie!.Score: 5/5

AmazingObsessed with this entire series. Lost a lot of sleep because I wasn't able to put these books down!!!.Score: 5/5

Review: All Souls Trilogy 3: The Book of LifeThe Book of Life by Deborah Harkness is the third and final book in her All Souls Trilogy . The sensationally magical story of an American witch with no desire for her powers and the centuries old vampire that irrevocably changes her life. Diana Bishop just spent months in the 17th century preparing herself for the battle to come once they return to the 21st century. Learning she is a weaver and all that entails was an arduous journey for both Matthew and Diana but the battle for the book of life is going to happen and they are as prepared as they will ever be. Picking up long lost friends along the way and learning that those they left behind may not always stay in the past, this book is the culmination of months and months of preparation and while it has a happy ending it is hard won. The changes that Diana manages to make changing the old thought processes of static vampire thinking and the closed off attitude of the witches is beyond miraculous and this book was the perfect ending to the trilogy. Addictive! This series is quite possibly as addictive as Matthew's attraction to Diana! Now also a wonderful TV series on Sundance Channel, I was blown away with how entranced I was with these characters. The main characters, the secondary characters, the world-building. Definitely one of my best reads of 2019! Enjoy!.Score: 5/5

Perfect end to the seriesI loved this final chapter in the series. Perfect conclusion with virtually no lose ends to tie up. I hope there will be a new series with the babies when they grow up. Would like to know how Philipe & Rebecca turn out !! Highly recommend the whole trilogy!!.Score: 5/5

Great!The Triolgy was excellent, I had a hard time putting it down. I cannot say enough. I am anxiously waiting for the movie..Score: 5/5

FantasticAmazing detail. Amazing writing. I just finished this book at 1:57 AM! It's so good that I was unable to put it down to sleep..Score: 5/5

Harkness is a genius with a big heart!Amazing Trilogy! Harkness’s way above average intellect is evident on every page. As well as her characters ability to be faithful, loyal and loving. Brains and a heart are a hard combination to come by in an author. Pair those with her ability to put you in many places and times and it’s Magic! I have a new favorite author. Please continue this work..Score: 5/5

Love this book!It was a great conclusion to the trio of stories! I enjoyed it very much!.Score: 5/5

All soulsI love love love this series. I read all three books in a weeks span. I even binge watched the whole first season and can’t wait for more. I’d love to see how the babes have grown and their life afterwards and if Diana ever decides that she loves Mathew enough to become what he is and give up her powers????.Score: 5/5

Fantastic!Excellent series, could not put them down!.Score: 5/5

A wonderful readThe three books are an excellent escape to fantasy and our own historical past. What a combination. Her companion book should be read along side the books as the pictures and references to people, places and things that gave her inspiration add greatly to this wonderful read..Score: 5/5

Captivating!Excellent finale with surprises to keep the reader loving every twist and turn..Score: 5/5

👍🏾Perfect ending. I hope we get to hear from Rebecca and Phillip one day! 🙏🏾.Score: 5/5

Awesomeness!I enjoyed the journey!!! And I am dying for more!.Score: 5/5

A fun trilogyThis last book in the trilogy was just as well written as the first 2. they are all 3 ‘high romance’ so to speak, between a witch and a vampire. though the two main characters have very different views on how relationships should be transformations, growth and love help them to come together as a couple. though it is very heterosexual the ending seems to point to inclusivity of those who seem different than ourselves. anyway, a fun romp thru time..Score: 5/5

"The Book of Life" earns 5++/5 Ouroboroses...Absorbing, Thrilling Epic!EPIC CONCLUSION. ABSORBING. Over the past week, I forced myself not to read the last ten chapters because I "feared" the end that might have someone perish, someone sacrificed, or someone evading justice. It is always a worry one will be less than satisfied when coming to the conclusion of an epic book series that has kept one's interest for so long, that it will just be over with a disappointing climax or some issues left unresolved. I always call it my "French film," a story that just ends, awkwardly. But, I am ecstatic, thrilled, left in joyful tears, that the final book in Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy, The Book of Life, was an extraordinary conclusion with resolutions of justice, retribution, vindication, and hope...hope that the characters in which I've invested my time and emotion will be okay. Although I didn't entirely understand the genetics jargon and research, it was still fascinating, strengthening Harkness's mythology, and adding an air of realism to the existence of vampires, witches, daemons. And Wow! Diana's transformation, pact with the goddess, and literal connection to Ashmole 782 was a fantastic revelation. From Madison to Sept-Tours, from London to Venice, the search for the missing pages and the book, the past brought into the present, and vengeance centuries on hold all converge. Harkness's writing style is engaging and rich with vivid descriptions (case in point: childbirth), but nothing that would make any reader cringe or shy away. Even the battle to vanquish the "monstrous" antagonists (no spoiler, if you've read the first books, you know a battle is coming!) is well-written. She switched from Diana's first-person perspective to the readers third-person viewpoint, but it was a smooth transition, well-paced, and very absorbing. I wanted it to continue and continue. The dialogue blended well with the narrative illustrating the various personalities, the emotion, conflicts, fears, and joys. This has been a joyous journey!.Score: 5/5

Wow!I could not put this trilogy down! It is sooooooo interesting, historical, suspenseful, fun and satisfying! It certainly has made me believe more in goddess “magic”!.Score: 5/5

Full circleLove the series but I truly enjoyed and savored every page of the last book. You will not be disappointed. Wish there will be more books to continue the story of Diana and Matthew and their kids..Score: 5/5

Book of LifeLoved it!.Score: 5/5

Great readEnjoyed this 3rd book about Diana and Matthew. While it started a bit slowly, I quickly engaged with the book, remembering known characters and enjoying the introduction of new ones. I look forward to reading others!.Score: 5/5

Magic winsNice end to the trilogy. Enjoyed traveling through Europe--like the historical fiction style of the 2nd book, this was well told in travel fiction style. Beautiful details of place. Love the mixing of facts and fiction. Diana finds her magical strength and the family comes together. Hope the babies lives will lead to moe great stories for Ms. Hardness to tell..Score: 4/5

HorribleWorst of the 3 books!!!.Score: 1/5

Loved all three booksFantastic series, coundnt put them down..Score: 5/5

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The Book of LifeTotally awesome read. Loved all three books. I'm sad the series has ended. Thanks for sharing this great story with us..Score: 5/5

Fantastic!What a page turner! Couldn't put it down, even though I was sad it would mean the trilogy was coming to an end....Score: 5/5

Amazing seriesThis trilogy is so full of passion, magic, fear, hope, despair, love, history and science. Couldn’t put the three books down from start to finish. The world feels so real that I expect to see witches, vampires and daemons in the people I pass each day. Thank you Deborah for a writing this great story..Score: 5/5

All souls trilogyThese novels are the best, most captivating stories I have read in years. Hated to reach the end..Score: 5/5

All Souls TrilogyWhile eagerly awaiting the final installment of this trilogy, I've read & reread the first two books, A Discovery of Witches & Shadow of Night. These books never get old ~ the writing is superb & the characters now feel like old friends. A must read!!.Score: 5/5

Loved it!What a great read, I had to pace myself so I wouldn't finish it right away..Score: 4/5

Perfect endingA superb ending to the trilogy. Well told, exquisite detail, brilliant historical fiction and fantasy..Score: 5/5

The Book of LifeMarvellous conclusion to the All Souls Trilogy.... I will miss Diana and Matthew though..Score: 5/5

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