All Souls Trilogy (A Discovery of Witches) by Deborah Harkness

I’m very excited about this review since it’s about one of my favourite books of all time. If you liked the TV show just wait to read the book, it will blow your mind!

Genre: fantasy, mystery, romance

The synopsis

Diana Bishop is a renowned American academician living in Oxford but is also the descendant of a family of powerful witches. But it has been long since she decided to give up her powers and family heritage. But when she discovers a mysterious, magical book in the Bodleian, she starts to attract the attention of other creatures and among them is the feared vampire Matthew de Clermont.

When the discovery of the Ashmole 782 puts her at risks, Diana will have no other choice than to renew with her heritage and to be careful with the ones she trusts.

The review

There is so much to say about this book that it would take me pages and pages to tell you all my thoughts about it. Don’t worry, I will be quicker than that 😉

This book is one of the best fantasy book I ever read. It has everything: fantasy, mystery, romance, hystory… Each character is properly described and has a specific place in the story. We lose or find again some of them in each volume. Diana is the perfect heroine: a scholar, very smart, courageous and independent. She’s not the type to wait for someone to come to rescue her or to tell her what to do. Her male counterpart, Matthew, is a vampire who has lived centuries without falling for a women and when he does she’s a witch. It’s really interesting to see the evolution of this character from the calculative vampire to feeling more human emotions. The relationship between him and Diana is definitevely one of my favourite romance in a book and is all about support and mutual respect. It’s also very realistic about the challenges a couple encounters and that can break them apart if it can’t overcome them.

The other thing I loved is the meeting of the families and the evolution of their relationship from suspicion to mutual trust and respect. It shows that historical pasts and prejudicies can be overcome and that similarities lie where we don’t expect them. Even if I enjoyed the major parts of the characters and especially Ysabeau because of her classy and refined character, I must admit I loved the duo Marcus/Phoebe. They are the protagonists of a new cycle that I hope to read this summer.

Concerning the plot itself, I loved how mystery, action, romance and history are intertwined. Each element has a meaning in the all plot. Even if this one is quite simple (the quest for an object) the author made it more complex thanks to the many characters and their personnal stories and Diana’s parallel quest for mastering her power. It becomes even more complicated in the second volume of the trilogy since our main characters travel in different places of the Elizabethan era while the plot is still going on in the present time through the other characters. I liked a lot the fact that some actions or objects of Diana and Matthew in the past are sensed/retrieved by the other members of their family in the present time.

Finally, I was thrilled by the author making a huge place to history. History is one of my favourite things in the world (with books and cats obviously) and I am particularly interested by the Elizabethan era. Hence, it was very enjoyable to discover personnalities of this era and to travel through it with the characters. We can totally see the knowledge of the author concerning this period and the history of alchemy and I learned a lot about these subjects in these books.

In brief, if you’re looking for a trilogy of quality that will allow you to travel around all Europe and learn a lot of new things about history and alchemy, you should definitively check this one out.

A 5/5 stars read because I can’t go higher on Goodreads!

P.S: Sorry for the picture, it just shows how many times I read it 😅

3 thoughts on “All Souls Trilogy (A Discovery of Witches) by Deborah Harkness”

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