All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
Published between 2011-2014
This whole series took me about two full weeks to read which was far longer than I had ever anticipated. Then I realized that each book had about 600 pages and since, lucky me, I had the trilogy in one book was a whopping 1800 pages. That’s probably why it took me so long.
Personally, I really liked this series. While it was far longer than it should be mainly due to the fact that the author provided tons of details, I honestly liked it. I can’t say I loved it but it came pretty close. Usually when authors provide too many details, I tend to skim over it and find it overbearing. For some odd reason, I found the details in this trilogy comforting and with all the coffee and wine that the characters drank, I felt like I was also cuddling up and drinking them as well. Basically, the imagery and the world the author created were fantastic. Apparently a few people complained on Goodreads about how vivid everything was but how is that a bad thing? Personally, for this trilogy, it was a definite plus.
Diana Bishop, the main character, actually wasn’t my favorite person. I found her somewhat whiney in the first book especially since she had all of this power but refused to do anything with it and instead, complained about having them. Once she learned to accept who she was though and stopped trying to be someone she was not, she became a lot more likable. I especially enjoyed her in the last book – that was when she really came into her power and became more confident in herself. The first two books essentially followed her as she stumbled around blindly in both the present and the past.
Matthew, in a way, reminded me of Edward from Twilight. I think it’s because of that overprotectiveness that he oozed whenever Diana was in danger and how he basically stalked her before she realized her feelings for him. I didn’t place the two and two together until reading some of the negative reviews on Goodreads and then I was like, omg, I can totally picture that. However, he also seemed a little more realistic than Edward. Edward was a pretty new vampire whereas Matthew is over 1500 years old so his old fashioned way is much more understandable than a vampire that was only a hundred or so years old.
My favorite character was actually Gallowglass who didn’t appear until the second book. I loved his loyalty to his Auntie and Uncle. He was just such a strong second character. In fact, I liked all of the secondary characters – Ysabeau, Jack, Sarah, Emily, Philippe, etc. They were honestly such a huge part of the book despite the fact that they were secondary characters. Without them, Diana and Matthew would not shine as much.
The plot was very, very complex. There were just so much going on but because of all the details that the author had, it never felt confusing. I loved the world building that the author created as well as all the complex characters.
Overall, spectacular trilogy. It had a great ending which is something that is actually not so common these days. A lot of trilogies just end weird or terribly (i.e. Divergent trilogy) so I was glad that this had a concrete ending. I highly recommend these books despite some of the negative reviews on Goodreads.