The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I could not be happier with the ending of this particular trilogy. I was worried how this third book might go after having mixed feelings about the second book. But, wow! The final book in the trilogy definitely exceeded my overall expectations and sealed this trilogy's fate as an all-time favorite of mine!
I wouldn't say this book is easily read as a stand alone novel - you really need the context of the first two books to fully understand and enjoy this one. I continue to be amazed at what a wonderful writer Harkess is ... her ability to weave a fantastic story with multifaceted characters is just superb! She's a master storyteller and kept me enthralled with this one for every single page!
I am often frustrated by the final book in a trilogy because many authors seem to almost give up and give the reader a half-hearted story that doesn't actually provide closure or it closes the story up so quickly that it feels undone. Not this one ... Harkness unravels the mysteries of the trilogy slowly and provides the reader with answers that have obviously been thought out and demonstrate a respect for the reader's intellect. THIS is what the final book of a trilogy should be! It's so good that it makes me want to go back and read all 3 books from the start, one after another!
I will point out that these novels, especially this one, are not fluffy vampire/witch fiction. These novels are well thought out, intellectual and cerebral takes on fantasy/gothic horror. These story lines are occasionally treated as fluff by other writers. But not Deborah Harkness ... she elevates them and brings them to life with her attention to detail and excellent writing skills!
This may well be one of my all time favorite trilogies - well written, great characters, intellectual exploration of identity and self awareness, and more! I can't recommend the trilogy more highly! In fact, I envy those of who haven't read them and get to read them for the first time!
Note: I received an electronic copy of this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley for review consideration.