My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ok phew, just seeing the sun after emerging out of a fog.
Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy was like a mirage in the desert for me. After countless attempts of trying to read it, when I am literally facing a time management crisis with the number of pending ARC’s, I sat to read this, 🤷 🤷 🤷 now if that does not categorize me as crazy, I don’t know what else will? 🤪 🤪 🤪
There are 3 parts of the story, one in Oxford, another in France and the third in New York and each one takes the reader to dizzying heights of unadulterated delight.
The story begins with a harmless alchemical book Ashmole 782 called for a reference by Diana Bishop but never in her wildest dreams did Diana imagine that her current life as a historian would go for a toss. Her firm decision to stay completely away from anything witchy backfires as daemons, other witches and vampires begins to take an obscene interest in her daily life and the Bodleian library becomes a hamper of otherworldly creatures.
The comparison to the much-loved Twilight saga is inevitable with a similar over possessive and over the top controlling vampire Mathew as Diana’s love interest and honestly till about halfway thru that’s what I was constantly doing. Yes of course there are similarities no doubt about it but the common points are really quite a few and far between.
The third part of the story that involves Diana’s witch aunts Sarah and Emily and laugh out loud crazy house was simply outstanding. Ha, what fun to have a house that keeps adding rooms even before the guests have arrived 😉 😉 😉.
Diana was characterized quite brilliantly, her emotions and her deep love captured so gloriously. The fantasy world has never felt so alive and the twists and turns in the story as Diana learns of her parent’s death and Mathew’s past and how each link is interconnected to her life was mind-boggling and complex. To be frank, I was totally lost with the complexity of the plot as each thread unwinds for a new discovery and kept reading hoping for some relief from all the intricacies.
This is just book #1 and the author has already stumped me with the convoluted plot and book 2 goes back in time to Elizabethan England, I might as well stay away without giving myself a headache, but as Mathew wonders, I AM BEWITCHED and can’t wait to get to book 2.
My review for Book #2 & #3
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.