Harkness returns for the last installment of the All Souls Trilogy: “The Book of Life” where Matthew, Diana, and the various witches, vampires, and daemons we have come to know throughout the trilogy return for the final battle. Here, Diana (a witch) and Matthew (a vampire) fight to establish their own scion, a family unit separate from Matthew’s that welcomes creatures of all types – something that goes against the strict rules of the Congregation, which forbids the intermixing of species. To prove their authority and to get to the bottom of the genetic differences that make all creatures unique, Diana and Matthew must first try to obtain the missing pages from the Book of Life (Ashmole 782), an ancient manuscript of spells that tells the history of witches, vampires, and daemons thus far, before she must recall the manuscript itself. Diana must do this while awaiting the birth of her twin babies, the children of her witch-vampire union and something the Congregation will not abide. Another vampire, Matthew’s bad seed of a son Benjamin, learns that certain witches can conceive vampire children and is doing his best to breed an army of his own.
Rich in alchemical history, fantasy, science, and magic, this final installment is a solid finish to a wonderful trilogy. Although the story here is not quite as gripping as the first novel, this story will leave Harkness’ many fans happy, with Diana and Matthew dictating their own destiny with their young children in tow. The imagery, as always, is incredible, and the intricacies of Diana’s spells will leave you awestruck, even though the ending (especially the scientific explanations) feel too easy and a bit rushed.
I’m anxious to see what Harkness will give us next because I think I speak for most when I say I’m very sad to see Diana and Matthew go.
Amazon link for the book is here.