The Book Of Life: A Novel by Deborah HarknessThe Book Of Life: A Novel by Deborah Harkness

The Book Of Life: A Novel

byDeborah Harkness

Hardcover | July 15, 2014

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The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches
 
After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.
 
With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.
Deborah Harkness is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. A history professor at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. She lives in Los Angeles.
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Title:The Book Of Life: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:576 pages, 9.25 × 6.38 × 1.63 inPublished:July 15, 2014Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0670025593

ISBN - 13:9780670025596

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful books I loved all three of these books, and Jennifer Ikeda's voice reading the different characters using different accents and timbres made the stories live with me.
Date published: 2015-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb read! One of the best series and the best finale. Read it twice and still want to read it again. Hope to continue witnessing the Bishop DeClairmont saga expecially how Becca and Philip turn into teenagers :)
Date published: 2015-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GREAT I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed all three of the trilogy. I do not usually read this type of book but Deborah make the story riveting.
Date published: 2015-09-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from it was just ok i found that these 3 books this being the 3rd they all move quite slowly. I know details make the story but I have never ever wanted to put down a book. these ones make me sleepy. I did finish them though kind of have to when you get 1.5 books in. though I loved the mixing of real places and things and real books and things that have baffled people of history for ever added into the fiction
Date published: 2015-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exciting & Inventive Loved this series. The mix of old and new, fact and fiction, and loveable characters was great!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2015-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from In love I fell deeply Into this book series and couldn't stop. I feel lost now that they are consumed and done. I recommend reading this series
Date published: 2015-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The book Of Life I truly enjoyed this book and the series. I had a difficult time putting it down to attend to other things. The story was complete, though there are characters I would like to know more about. The history was well researched and explanations relevant. I will watch for other books by Deborah Harkness.
Date published: 2015-05-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Tedious This series could have been wrapped up in 2 books. The final book was tedious and I had to force myself to finish it. Weak ending and overall a very disappointing read.
Date published: 2015-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read! Once you start reading the trilogy, you can't put the books down. The characters come to life off the pages and leaves you wanting more. Best read I've had in a long time.
Date published: 2015-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The book of life Entertaining, compelling, well written. The whole series is wonderful! Each book is a page turner and I look forward to more.
Date published: 2015-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read I loved all three books in this trilogy. I was pulled in and the storyline held me throughout all three books. There are a lot of scientific and historic terms used in the books, I would say I enjoy reading historical books but don't have a love of science. I find she uses the characters to explain the more complex ideas and it does not take away from the amazing story line. These books are a must read.
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect ending to a perfect series I stumbled across the first of the series "A Discovery Of Witches" through a review in People magazine. Was not disappointed at all and got hooked but the story and the wonderful writing. The second "Shadow of the Night" was equally as wonderful. "The Book of Life" wraps it all up and was the perfect end to a series you won't want to end. I hear it is going to be made into a movie and can't wait to see how it is brought to life on screen. Get all three and settle in as you won't want to put them down.
Date published: 2015-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ĺoved this book! An absolutely wonderful trilogy. I'm very sorry it's come to an end. I loved it! The people who live in the writing become more real by the page.
Date published: 2015-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Book of Life; second book in trilogy Well writen, easy read with more suspense. Continues on nicely from first book. Enjou=yable and fantastic escape!
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from aaaa nice conclusion to series. makes you want to see next series with same characters. modern romance with unexpected events.
Date published: 2015-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read Love the twist and turns in this book, hope it does not end there, would love to see the next generation. Deborah Harkness keeps you in suspense and you cannot put the book down until it is finished.
Date published: 2015-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very enjoyable read. I enjoyed book 3 so much more than book 2. It was fast paced and tied up lose ends very well. Worth the time to read and money to buy!
Date published: 2015-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best in the series I was in love with the series and found the 3rd and final book the most difficult to put down. I ate it up in 4 days. Fantastic end to a fantastic trilogy!
Date published: 2015-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant A fitting end to a heart stopping trillogy. It will be sorely missed
Date published: 2014-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Book of Life Awesome! Loved it and entire series.
Date published: 2014-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from . Excellent trilogy! Very interesting story line. Kept me wanting more.
Date published: 2014-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very satisfying finish An enthralling series with a plausible, but exciting end.
Date published: 2014-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book A great read. Hard to put the book down. Hope to see a sequel of the twins
Date published: 2014-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from outstanding An extremely satisfactory ending to a story that I found hard to put down. Putting the book down was like saying goodbye to good friends.
Date published: 2014-08-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good ending to the trilogy This final book was a great revelation of the family secrets and ties up,all loose ends. Imtoomwould like to read about the twins in another series.
Date published: 2014-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Read! I couldn't wait for this third book in the series of the 'Discovery of Witches', and it didn't disappoint me. Book of Life is every bit as good and eventful as the first two and I certainly hope it really isn't the last in this series as I'd love to learn what happens with the 'twins' as they grow and develop.
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very involving read I have been waiting for this book for a year. It was so worth it!
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 5 stars aren't enough! Deborah Harkness has crafted a fitting and beautiful ending to her All Souls Trilogy with this book. Combining history, romance, otherworldly creatures, politics and a great deal of magic, "The Book of Life" brings the thrill ride of the trilogy to a close with a bang. It's a story about how we are much more alike than different, family ties and interactions, how our friends can still surprise us, how lies can harm us and how loyalty and love can bring the most amazing people into your circle of close relationships. This is a book that benefits most from having read the previous two chapters in the story - having read them, I can't say how well this holds up on its own. But, the whole trilogy is worth reading, so start with "A Discovery of Witches" and find yourself in a newly defined world. Bravo!
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A satisfying ending I loved this trilogy and this third book kept me guessing until the end. I am happy to say that while reading I found myself hoping for certain things to happen or not happen and Deborah created a storyline that was not predicable so kept me turning pages from cover to cover. I thought it was a very satisfying end to the story of Matthew
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!!!! OMG, continued perfectly from the last 2 books... At first thought I might forget some of the characters but remembered so quickly once I opened it up... I actually had another book on the go when this one arrived and I dropped it and opened this and read it in 2 days... Very very fun read... made me laugh and cry! D.H, I will read whatever you have coming next!
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Love This Book!!! I love books, I love all books, the way they smell when old or new, the way i feel when i bring them home and find places for them on my shelves, and of course the way I feel the first time I open them to start a new story. I have waited for this book like all other All Souls fans, watching the days crawl closer until I could get my hnds on it. But wouldnt you know the minute it came to my door, the minute I ripped it from the box I just couldnt open it. I couldnt start the story, I knew that one I started it I wouldnt be able to stop, and I knew that like only one other series I have read that once it was over I would never have that feeling again. I would know the ending to the story, I would have to admit to myself that it was over. If I never read or never finished it I would always have it (Schroedingers Cat type of thing). Finally though I cracked it open and devoured it like a man in the desert devours the last canteen of water he has, slowly and with relish. Harkness has a way wth words, a way that goes straight to your heart. This book made me cry so many ties, from happiness, from memories of my own life it pulled from me and because yes some times it was heart breaking. Matthew and Diana arae 2 of the most well written, realised characters I have ever read!What I would give to sit with them in the library at Sept Tours. This story takes the readerr on journey and at the end of that journey you will want to close the book and race to find the first book and start it again! I know thats what I want to do. It waws a quicker read then the other two. At least in my opinion. The story was so well laid out in the previous 2 books that this one just flowed. I didnt need to close it and look up a definition or peice of art online. I felt like I was there. I dont want to talk about the actual story as I hope that others will experience this book and series the way I have. All i will say in closing is that some books, characters, places and authors leave a mark on you, they touch you and you know you wont ever forget them. This is true, this book has left something on me both literally and figurativly. I had black smudges and green glitter on my hands from gripping it tight for multiple hours at a time. It is the marks on my soull as a reader that will remain for a long long time even after I have put this book back on the shelf to take a rest until the next time I need to escape to a love story and more a family story for a time.
Date published: 2014-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Love This Book!!! I love books, I love all books, the way they smell when old or new, the way i feel when i bring them home and find places for them on my shelves, and of course the way I feel the first time I open them to start a new story. I have waited for this book like all other All Souls fans, watching the days crawl closer until I could get my hnds on it. But wouldnt you know the minute it came to my door, the minute I ripped it from the box I just couldnt open it. I couldnt start the story, I knew that one I started it I wouldnt be able to stop, and I knew that like only one other series I have read that once it was over I would never have that feeling again. I would know the ending to the story, I would have to admit to myself that it was over. If I never read or never finished it I would always have it (Schroedingers Cat type of thing). Finally though I cracked it open and devoured it like a man in the desert devours the last canteen of water he has, slowly and with relish. Harkness has a way wth words, a way that goes straight to your heart. This book made me cry so many ties, from happiness, from memories of my own life it pulled from me and because yes some times it was heart breaking. Matthew and Diana arae 2 of the most well written, realised characters I have ever read!What I would give to sit with them in the library at Sept Tours. This story takes the readerr on journey and at the end of that journey you will want to close the book and race to find the first book and start it again! I know thats what I want to do. It waws a quicker read then the other two. At least in my opinion. The story was so well laid out in the previous 2 books that this one just flowed. I didnt need to close it and look up a definition or peice of art online. I felt like I was there. I dont want to talk about the actual story as I hope that others will experience this book and series the way I have. All i will say in closing is that some books, characters, places and authors leave a mark on you, they touch you and you know you wont ever forget them. This is true, this book has left something on me both literally and figurativly. I had black smudges and green glitter on my hands from gripping it tight for multiple hours at a time. It is the marks on my soull as a reader that will remain for a long long time even after I have put this book back on the shelf to take a rest until the next time I need to escape to a love story and more a family story for a time.
Date published: 2014-07-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Were the other reviewers reading the same book as I was? I loved the first book and liked the second book of this trilogy but was very disapointed when reading this third installment, after waiting a long while for it to be published, I pre-ordered the book and waited impatiently for it to arrive. Upon finishing I found that the story line was disjointed and irratic. I also felt that there were far too many characters. It was as if every single character introduced in her other novels had to appear in this third book. The story felt......well, cluttered would be the best word. The plot was all over the place and the main characters seemed to jump around a lot without much reason. The plot seemed haphazard and jumbled. Overall I was glad I read this book to complete the trilogy, but if this had been book #1 in the series I would not have ready anymore. I gave the book three stars as it was nice to reconnect with Diana and Matthew, however I would not recommend this book to my friends or family.
Date published: 2014-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ENGAGING READ!! This book does not disappoint!! I could not put the book down for very long before I was picking it up again telling myself only ONE more page as yet another chapter flew by!! If you are a fan of this series, READ THIS BOOK!!
Date published: 2014-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was near perfect! A great end to Diana and Matthew's story. This novel was so worth the wait. I read it from cover to cover on my Kobo the day of release. If you're a fan of the series, you'll love this book.
Date published: 2014-07-18

Read from the Book

Sol in Cancer The signe of the Crabbe pertains to houses, lands, treasures, and whatever is hidden. It is the fourth house of the Zodiak. It signifies death and the end of thinges.—Anonymous English Commonplace Book, c. 1590, Gonçalves MS 4890, f. 8r Ghosts didn’t have much substance. All they were composed of was memories and heart. Atop one of Sept-Tours’ round towers, Emily Mather pressed a diaphanous hand against the spot in the center of her chest that even now was heavy with dread. Does it ever get easier? Her voice, like the rest of her, was almost imperceptible. The watching? The waiting? The knowing? Not that I’ve noticed, Philippe de Clermont replied shortly. He was perched nearby, studying his own transparent fingers. Of all the things Philippe disliked about being dead—the inability to touch his wife, Ysabeau; his lack of smell or taste; the fact that he had no muscles for a good sparring match—invisibility topped the list. It was a constant reminder of how inconsequential he had become. Emily’s face fell, and Philippe silently cursed himself. Since she’d died, the witch had been his constant companion, cutting his loneliness in two. What was he thinking, barking at her as if she were a servant? Perhaps it will be easier when they don’t need us anymore, Philippe said in a gentler tone. He might be the more experienced ghost, but it was Emily who understood the metaphysics of their situation. What the witch had told him went against everything Philippe believed about the afterworld. He thought the living saw the dead because they needed something from them: assistance, forgiveness, retribution. Emily insisted these were nothing more than human myths, and it was only when the living moved on and let go that the dead could appear to them. This information made Ysabeau’s failure to notice him somewhat easier to bear, but not much. “I can’t wait to see Em’s reaction. She’s going to be so surprised.” Diana’s warm alto floated up to the battlements. Diana and Matthew, Emily and Philippe said in unison, peering down to the cobbled courtyard that surrounded the château. There, Philippe said, pointing at the drive. Even dead, he had vampire sight that was sharper than any human’s. He was also still handsomer than any man had a right to be, with his broad shoulders and devilish grin. He turned the latter on Emily, who couldn’t help grinning back. They are a fine couple, are they not? Look how much my son has changed. Vampires weren’t supposed to be altered by the passing of time, and therefore Emily expected to see the same black hair, so dark it glinted blue; the same mutable gray-green eyes, cool and remote as a winter sea; the same pale skin and wide mouth. There were a few subtle differences, though, as Philippe suggested. Matthew’s hair was shorter, and he had a beard that made him look even more dangerous, like a pirate. She gasped. Is Matthew . . . bigger? He is. I fattened him up when he and Diana were here in 1590. Books were making him soft. Matthew needed to fight more and read less. Philippe had always contended there was such a thing as too much education. Matthew was living proof of it. Diana looks different, too. More like her mother, with that long, coppery hair, Em said, acknowledging the most obvious change in her niece. Diana stumbled on a cobblestone, and Matthew’s hand shot out to steady her. Once, Emily had seen Matthew’s incessant hovering as a sign of vampire overprotectiveness. Now, with the perspicacity of a ghost, she realized that this tendency stemmed from his preternatural awareness of every change in Diana’s expression, every shift of mood, every sign of fatigue or hunger. Today, however, Matthew’s concern seemed even more focused and acute. It’s not just Diana’s hair that has changed. Philippe’s face had a look of wonder. Diana is with child—Matthew’s child. Emily examined her niece more carefully, using the enhanced grasp of truth that death afforded. Philippe was right—in part. You mean “with children.” Diana is having twins. Twins, Philippe said in an awed voice. He looked away, distracted by the appearance of his wife. Look, here are Ysabeau and Sarah with Sophie and Margaret. What will happen now, Philippe? Emily asked, her heart growing heavier with anticipation. Endings. Beginnings, Philippe said with deliberate vagueness. Change. Diana has never liked change, Emily said. That is because Diana is afraid of what she must become, Philippe replied. * * * Marcus Whitmore had faced horrors aplenty since the night in 1781 when Matthew de Clermont made him a vampire. None had prepared him for today’s ordeal: telling Diana Bishop that her beloved aunt, Emily Mather, was dead. Marcus had received the phone call from Ysabeau while he and Nathaniel Wilson were watching the television news in the family library. Sophie, Nathaniel’s wife, and their baby, Margaret, were dozing on a nearby sofa. “The temple,” Ysabeau had said breathlessly, her tone frantic. “Come. At once.” Marcus had obeyed his grandmother without question, only taking time to shout for his cousin, Gallowglass, and his Aunt Verin on his way out the door. The summer half-light of evening had lightened further as he approached the clearing at the top of the mountain, brightened by the otherworldly power that Marcus glimpsed through the trees. His hair stood at attention at the magic in the air. Then he scented the presence of a vampire, Gerbert of Aurillac. And someone else—a witch. A light, purposeful step sounded down the stone corridor, drawing Marcus out of the past and back into the present. The heavy door opened, creaking as it always did. “Hello, sweetheart.” Marcus turned from the view of the Auvergne countryside and drew a deep breath. Phoebe Taylor’s scent reminded him of the thicket of lilac bushes that had grown outside the red-painted door of his family’s farm. Delicate and resolute, the fragrance had symbolized the hope of spring after a long Massachusetts winter and conjured up his long-dead mother’s understanding smile. Now it only made Marcus think of the petite, iron-willed woman before him.“Everything will be all right.” Phoebe reached up and straightened his collar, her olive eyes full of concern. Marcus had taken to wearing more formal clothes than concert T-shirts around the same time he’d started to sign his letters Marcus de Clermont instead of Marcus Whitmore—the name she’d first known him by, before he had told her about vampires, fifteen-hundred-year-old fathers, French castles full of forbidding relatives, and a witch named Diana Bishop. It was, in Marcus’s opinion, nothing short of miraculous that Phoebe had remained at his side.“No. It won’t.” He caught one of her hands and planted a kiss on the palm. Phoebe didn’t know Matthew. “Stay here with Nathaniel and the rest of them. Please.”“For the final time, Marcus Whitmore, I will be standing beside you when you greet your father and his wife. I don’t believe we need discuss it further.” Phoebe held out her hand. “Shall we?”Marcus put his hand in Phoebe’s, but instead of following her out the door as she expected, he tugged her toward him. Phoebe came to rest against his chest, one hand clasped in his and the other pressed to his heart. She looked at him with surprise.“Very well. But if you come down with me, Phoebe, there are conditions. First, you are with me or with Ysabeau at all times.”Phoebe opened her mouth to protest, but Marcus’s serious look silenced her.“Second, if I tell you to leave the room, you will do so. No delay. No questions. Go straight to Fernando. He’ll be in the chapel or the kitchen.” Marcus searched her face and saw a wary acceptance. “Third, do not, under any circumstances, get within arm’s reach of my father. Agreed?” Phoebe nodded. Like any good diplomat, she was prepared to follow Marcus’s rules—for now. But if Marcus’s father was the monster some in the house seemed to think he was, Phoebe would do what she must.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Book of Life“Weaving an extraordinarily rich story of magic and science, history and fiction, passion and power, secrets and truths, Harkness delivers an unforgettable and spellbinding finale that's not to be missed.”—USA Today“Juicy and action-packed . . . Even at 561 pages, this is one hardcover no one will mind lugging to the beach.”—People“Pure escapist summer fun.”—Jodi Picoult, Parade“The epic and erudite vampire-witch romance comes to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion in the action-packed All Souls trilogy ender.”—Entertainment Weekly“A stirring, poignant saga.”—Us Weekly“The charm in Deborah Harkness’s wildly successful All Souls trilogy lies not merely in the spells that its creature characters cast as they lurk pretty much in plain sight of humans, but in the adroit way Harkness has insinuated her world of demons, witches, and vampires into ours. . . . From the novel’s poignant opening, Harkness casts her own indelible spell of enchantment, heartbreak, and resilience. . . . She is terrific at bringing her magic world to life, maintaining a fast-paced, page-turning narrative.”—The Boston Globe“This trilogy is a superlative example in a subgenre you could call realistic fantasy—think Harry Potter but for grown-ups or Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Witches, vampires, and daemons exist, along with time travel. But this world also is recognizably ours, not a wholly made-up setting like George R.R. Martin’s Westeros. When done well, as it is here, this sort of fiction provides characters who are recognizably human in their desires and actions even if most of them are creatures with supernatural powers. Through them Harkness succeeds at the hardest part of writing fantasy: She makes this world so real that you believe it exists—or at the very least that you wish that it did.”—Miami Herald“Harkness has immersed and spellbound readers with her alternative universe. . . . Her ambitious melding of scientific and historical detail is inventive and brings surprising depth. . . . The Book of Life brims with sensuality, intrigue, violence and much-welcome humor.”—Los Angeles Times“There is no shortage of action in this sprawling sequel, and nearly every chapter brings a wrinkle to the tale. The storytelling is lively and energetic, and Diana remains an appealing heroine even as her life becomes ever more extraordinary. A delightful wrap-up to the trilogy.”—Publishers Weekly“Harkness herself proves to be quite the alchemist as she combines elements of magic, history, romance, and science, transforming them into a compelling journey through time, space, and geography. By bridging the gaps between Harry Potter, Twilight, and Outlander fans, Harkness artfully appeals to a broad range of fantasy lovers.”—Booklist“The witch Diana’s and the vampire Matthew’s quests to discover their origins and confront the threats to their star-crossed union tie up as neatly as one of Diana’s magical weaver’s knots. . . . It’s still satisfying to travel with these characters toward their more-than-well-earned happy ending.”—Kirkus Reviews“The adventure never lets up. . . . History, science, and the unpredictable actions of paranormal characters with hidden agendas all swirl together to create a not-to-be-missed finale to a stellar series.”—Library Journal