One of my favorite series of all time is The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. It has everything I ever wanted in one series and I think there is honestly nothing out there that matches this series.
If there is something, let me know because I would love to read it!
Why is the All Souls Trilogy so good?
I think I might have first encountered this book at the library while I was just browsing shelves. It was the best choice I ever made to pick up these books!
I’ll tell you why it’s amazing. It has witches (from Salem ancestry!) and magic. It is set in academia and the whole series is set around a magical lost book that is the key to everything. It has forbidden love between an all powerful witch and a vampire (think a thousand times better than Twilight).
As if you need any more to pick up the series immediately, the writing is also fantastic. I will consume every single book Harkness writes in the future.
Book #1: Discovery of Witches
Let’s talk a little bit about the premise of the first book. Diana Bishop is a young scholar studying at Oxford when she recalls an alchemical manuscript from the stacks of the Bodleian that postiviely oozes magic.
Coming from a long line of witches herself, Diana immediately recognizes the magic, but she denies that part of herself after what happened to her parents many years ago, so she sends it back to the stacks. Little does she know that is the book of life that was previously thought to be lost for centuries. It is the key to all creatures on this earth–witches, vampires and daemons–and everyone now knows Diana was able to access it.
In comes Matthew Clairmont, a centuries old vampire geneticist who wants to get his hands on that book, but more than just research happens between Diana and Matthew. He becomes her confidant and protector as other creatures come after Diana, but intimacy is forbidden across species.
This smart, sophisticated story will draw you in as you thirst to find out what becomes of Diana, Matthew and the book of life.
The All Souls Trilogy is now a TV Series
I’m always a little afraid when my favorite books get on screen treatment. What if they diverge from the story completely? What if it’s just not as good? What if they take out important details? I’m sure all readers sympathize.
This series however has completely lived up to my expectations! I’ve only just watched the first season and can’t wait to delve into the next two. Each season is one book, so the first season covered all events in the Discovery of Witches.
I love the cast too. Matthew Goode is Matthew Clairmont and Teresa Palmer is Diana Bishop.
Book #2: Shadow of Night
I promise to not reveal any spoilers, but if you want to remain completely surprised about the plot of book two, do not read on!
I love love love this book because Matthew and Diana end up in Elizabethan London to escape their enemies. Yes, they go back in time! There are real historical figures in this book including Sir Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlowe and none other than Queen Elizabeth herself!
As they are the central tennants to the series, Matthew and Diana’s relationship and the book of life are what this book revolves around still except we have a new and exciting historical setting.
Book #3: The Book of Life
Matthew and Diana return to their present time as the race to find the book of life becomes even more desperate. A dangerous evil from Matthew’s past emerges and Diana must save him before it’s too late.
This thrilling conclusion to the series is everything I hoped it would be and more.
Bonus Novel: Time's Convert
Thank you Ms. Harkness for not letting us leave the All Souls universe too soon! Time’s Convert is the newest installment and takes place after the events of the first three books.
This novel, however, focuses on Marcus, Matthew’s “son.” We get to delve into his human past and see when Matthew found and turned him into a vampire.
I hope Harkness comes out with more books soon!
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