The conclusion to Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy is quite excellently done. Harkness neatly wraps up the various plot threads she’s been laying all along into a tidy package. This tidy, completeness doesn’t feel forced or convoluted in any way.
After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’ 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.
I’m knocking a half a star off because Matthew Clairmont drives me nuts. His character is so controlling that I had a hard time listening to some of the things he says. I was definitely yelling back at my speakers, especially in the first third of the book, and when Diana’s best friend Chris comes on the scene. I have no patience for unreasonable, controlling people – especially men.
Despite Matthew, most of the characters in the series are what I love about the book. There are varied personalities and they’re allowed and able to change. The characters are written as believable people and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I was elated last month when a spin-off story about Marcus’s adventures during the Civil War was announced, Time’s Convert should be out this September.
Ultimately, the All Souls Trilogy is what Twilight wishes it were. There’s ancient intrigue, forbidden love, family and magic all wrapped up into a well written and satisfying story.