All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

All Souls trilogy and its spinoff Time’s Convert is a fantasy book series by Deborah Harkness first published in 2011. and in 2018. HBO released first season of a tv series named after the first book A Discovery of Witches starring Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop and Matthew Goode as Matthew de Clairmont. At this moment two seasons of 18 episodes are released and the third season is scheduled for somewhere between fall of 2021. and early 2022. (spoilers ahead)

Instantly I saw the first season on HBO I watched it and I loved it, so much that not long after that I rewatched it with my mum and boyfriend.

I liked everything about it. The pacing was a bit slow at times, but it made for great suspense. The scenery was beautiful, I loved how they depicted Oxford, Venice and France, and the questions through the show were sooo interesting.

Aberglasney house and gardens in Carmarthenshire,

Part of the gardens of Sept Tour castle were filmed at Aberglasney house and gardens in Carmarthenshire.

Castle of monselice

Castle of Monselice, Veneto region, Italy served as a filming location for Sept Tours castle and many elements were added with CGI.

Naturally, after seeing the show I got a book because I couldn’t stand the curiosity about what happened next. The book surprised me, it was one of the rare occasions when the show is better than the book. It was still very good, but it was so slow, everything that was in the book is in the show and more.

As could be expected, the relationship between Matthew and Diana was more prominent in the book but on the other hand there was just so much talk about food and wine. Also, I would say there are many shared triats with Twilight, especialy in Matthews character, which I don’t necessarily enjoy.

The show did a great thing by introducing some characters and plot points that are not from the first book and that really helped the pacing. After finishing the first book I immediately started second installment but right from the beginning it seemed repetitive and once I stopped, I never fined motivation to continue.

“Magic is desire made real.”

Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches

And now…… the second season is out. What to say, what to think?

I wasn’t wowed by it. First few episodes were kinda boring, so much that I didn’t even binged it. It was different kind of slow from the first book. There wasn’t much going on but also there wasn’t suspense either. Somewhere around second half things start to get better.

I think that too much time was spent on Diana’s and Matthew’s wonderings in the past and not enough in the present. Some characters are abruptly introduced and as much as it started slow it’s end felt rushed. By the time I finished watching second season I wasn’t curious and excited about the next one enough to wait for it, so I admit I googled the plot.

From what I’ve read and from some of the comments online, the third book makes no sense, most of the things are not explained, the book is stacked with all the characters and some more, and there is no real secret about the Book of life. The only “secret” is they should mix for better genes.

I’m sure I’ll watch the third season when it comes out. I want to know how they will adapt the book, and will they make necessary changes to better it as they have the first one, but I’m also certain I will not finish reading the books. Although there is a new, fourth book, the Marcus’s spinoff that actually sounds somewhat interesting, I’m not in the mood for 500 pages of smelling wine and berry tasting. (I know I’m being mean, but I’m slightly disappointed).

Read more about filming locations:

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