I am so glad of the various mediums of books us readers have at our hands these days. Paperbooks, kindle or e-books, audiobooks – if you really want to read, there is no excuse not to read really! 😉
I had read the first book of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy, last year – A Discovery of Witches. If you see my previous review here, you’ll notice I mentioned that the book picked up pace towards the second half and the one thing I couldn’t get my head around was Mathew and Diana’s relationship – their reason to fall in love and why Diana, who was portrayed to be an independent scholar, seemed in a sudden rush to leave all that behind and quickly marry Mathew. I had wondered then, if the second book will give me further answers on these two questions:
- Ashmole 782 – What does the book contain really?
- And the reason Mathew and Diana fall so madly in love with each other
Well, the book gave me everything else and much more, but couldn’t answer either of my questions. At this point, I know that the final book will definitely have answers to my first question, but my second question needs to become a given, for the purpose of the story, I guess. In fact, in this book, there are more and more references of how Mathew hated witches and would have never considered to be with one, rather mate one. And yet, not a single time are we given a reason from the first book as well, as to WHY, Mathew made an exception to Diana 🙂 Maybe I have missed something obvious that others could help me with 🙂
All that said, oh my goodness, was I blown away with the detailed description of the 16th Century England and some parts of Europe! I have never learned so much history as I did in this book. This is where the beauty of a well narrated audiobook lies in. You can imagine the descriptions of a place, of the clothes, of the meals and the changes in the accents of a Londoner in Elizabeth’s court, or a Frenchman, or a Roman emperor, or a high bred Scottish man.
I was taken on a splendid journey with Diana and Mathew from Woodstock to France to London to Rome, and meet all these prominent historical figures and learn about the School of Night. I was deeply drawn into all of this. I’ve heard that they’ve come up with an Amazon Prime series based on the books and I cant wait to watch the scenes I imagined in my head, live on screen 🙂 This book felt similar to reading fan fiction based on history! Just brilliant.
Also, I felt, in the second book, Diana takes the forefront and it is more her story than anyone else’s. Mathew and all the other prominent figures are in the sidelines and there are a billion supporting characters introduced, to show Diana’s growth and her journey of finding herself and her powers. I enjoyed that too. I’m looking forward to finishing the series now and I think I will buy the audiobook for the final book as well.
Funny Note: The flipside of listening on audiobook is, that you cant figure out the correct spelling and sometimes even the correct word. For the entire time, I kept listening to ‘School of Night’ as ‘School of Knight’ ROFL! 😀