The All Souls (including mine) Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Also known as I Am Late But Is There Room On The Bandwagon??? I discovered the witches. So many people have been watching the HBO/SKY TV Show, A Discovery of Witches and immediately text/called/carrier pidgeoned me to inform me that it was right up my street and had I watched it? Well. It has taken more than several months, a trip to the other side of the world and Christmas, but I have finally watched the TV series. In one day.

GUYS.

It was amazing. I had been wary of it being a bit Twilight-esque (but for grown-ups not teenage girls) but I loved it. I loved the mystery, I loved the witches, I loved Miriam, I loved the lesbiann witch moms, I loved scottish daemon bestie, I loved over-protective vampire mama – basically I loved it. I spent the whole day clicking next episode my needles clicking frantically as I finished a blanket. Then. When the series was over, I trotted upstairs and stole my mum’s copy of the book.

It starts with absense and desire.

It starts with blood and fear.

It starts with a discovery of witches

Beginning of the TV show, A Discovery of Witches and also features several times in the books.

While it was very different, I enjoyed the book immensely. I was concerned, when I started, that it would be like Outlander (mainly in how irritating and unending Claire’s internal narrative is) but while the main focus is Diana Bishop and her journey/romance, the narrative also takes a sideways hop every now and again to Matthew and other characters. It was great filling in the gaps about creature lore, as Diana knows jack about anything to do with her own kind let alone the other creatures. The first book ends, as with the series, with them stepping back in time.

It turned out we didn’t have the second and third book, so a trip to the nearest bookshop was required. It was a useful break, allowing my brain to clear a little and stop screaming about how much I adore Sarah Bishop and Emily Mather (Diana’s lesbian witch aunt/moms).

I really enjoyed The Shadow of Night, the second book in the series. I liked the fact they stay in one period of history, rather than the potential chaos of timewalking all over the place. At the risk of spoiling the plot, I dislike how people in the book keep making sweeping comments about how Matthew is supposed to be possessive and over-protective because he is a vampire. That may be true, but I wanted to punch someone in the face every time Diana grits her teeth and accepts his over-protectiveness until he calms down and she can do what she wants again. So I loved it whenever people told Matthew he was being possessive or an idiot or to calm down.

And then the end of the second book broke my damn heart, but I don’t want this post to have spoilers so sorry thats all I can say.

I really should have taken a break before the third book. It took me longer to read because my brain was whirring like wheels stuck in the mud. But when I did get my brain to quiet down to read, it was good. I thought it was a good conclusion to the series but my heart belongs to book 2 and the Elizabethan shenanigans. Also, Ysabeau is an absolute queen. I love her.

So. All in, its been a wild week full of magic and vampires and witches and romance and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Just so its on record, if I were a creature, I’d want to be a witch but I think I’d probably end up being a daemon! Good read, good watch, bring on series 2!

Bea

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