You might remember that Shadow of Night ended with Diana and Matthew returning to the current time period and making their way to Sept-Tours. It was a very good place to end one book and start another. The Book of Life picks up right there with them standing in the driveway. This should be a happy family reunion, especially given the news that Diana is pregnant with Matthew’s children, but sadly Emily is not there with them. Gerbert, a vampire, and Peter Knox, a witch, killed her while trying to get secrets from her mind. This is definitely not going to make Diana, or her fire drake Cora, happy. When Diana is unhappy, things are very bad. During Shadow of Night, Diana started to unlock her true potential making her one of the most powerful beings on the planet. Being pregnant with twins just makes her even more protective of family, and even more devastated that her children will never get to know their aunt. For once, Diana is the one who wants to kill and Matthew is the calm voice of reason. This battle with Gerbert and Knox is going to continue throughout the novel.
Things aren’t going to be easy on the family front as well. Even though some of the family has accepted Diana as family since she’s Matthew’s wife, Baldwin is still going to be a problem. Matthew is not technically Philippe’s "child" as he was made by Ysabeau. Of course, since Philippe de Clermont declared Diana his blood-sworn daughter when they were in the past, Baldwin shouldn’t have any reason not to accept her, but things are tricky. It’s a good thing that no one can manipulate like Philippe de Clermont. Relations are also going to be strained between Marcus and Matthew at times. We get to learn a whole lot more about their past, especially Marcus’ time in New Orleans. I do love Marcus’ relationship with Phoebe. Phoebe is a very logical woman who’s very protective of her man. Gallowglass is one of my favorite characters in this trilogy and I would love a book dedicated to his past. Gallowglass has a secret that you may or may not have guessed. Other creatures from their past will make appearances, like Benjamin. This book ties up all of those loose ends and makes everything make sense.
As if all of this weren’t enough to deal with while pregnant, things get even more complicated after the twins are born. Everyone in the creature world is dying to see the twins. It shouldn’t be possible for a vampire to conceive a child, especially not with a witch. Diana and Matthew are going to have to work together to figure out how to save their family from the evil forces at work. Ashmole 782 started this whole thing, so will they ever discover the secret of it? Given all that is happening and all the activity in the creature world, how much longer will they be able to keep their existence secret from the human world?
The world is changing. Diana and Matthew, along with their families, are at the center of everything. The Book of Life does an amazing job of bringing together everything. Deborah Harkness managed to tie up every loose thread in a perfect way. I wasn’t once left wondering what happened to someone or questioning how that detail would work. Her writing is spectacular! The Book of Life ends the trilogy on a satisfying ending. While she could start another trilogy picking up where this left off (which I would love), she leaves everything at a place where you feel like the story is truly concluded and if there were never any more information, you wouldn’t feel cheated. Kudos to Harkness for her brilliant storytelling! If you’re looking for a well written story with a fascinating set of characters, check out The Book of Life today!