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This is the fourth book about the adventures of Matthew de Claremont and his wife/mate Diana Bishop.  It does go into more depth about Matthew's son Marcus Whitmore, a vampire that Matthew made in the 18th century but does not explain where/when/why Marcus chose the surname Whitmore.

 

Expertly written and very believable I found it fascinating and unputdownable.

 

Recommended.

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This is going to be my next read after the series of books I am currently reading, trying not to get too excited about it if I'm honest as it does have a lot to live up considering how I felt about The All Souls Trilogy.

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1 hour ago, Apple said:

This is going to be my next read after the series of books I am currently reading, trying not to get too excited about it if I'm honest as it does have a lot to live up considering how I felt about The All Souls Trilogy.

 

I feel certain that you'll write a better review than I did!

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4 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:

 

I feel certain that you'll write a better review than I did!

 

I'll try to keep it within the realms of sanity!

Edited by Apple

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Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

 

I have just finished Time’s Convert and have to write a review about it, but hopefully this time I will stay within the realms of sanity and not end up sounding like a raving loon!  Here goes…

 

The latest offering from Deborah Harkness and a spin off story yet also a sort of follow on from the totally magnificent ‘All Souls Trilogy’. Most of the characters who appeared in the trilogy are featured here in this book and as a side plot we are given an update into the lives of Matthew and Diana who the All Souls stories revolved around, and with that update you get the feeling it has (hopefully) provided scope for further books down the line.

 

This story focuses on the human life and ‘rebirth’ as a vampire of Marcus – who features in the trilogy as a vampire sired by Matthew, and it tells his experiences of that transformation from human to vampire alongside his ‘warmblood’ human girlfriend/mate Phoebe who has agreed to become a vampire and is sired by Marcus’s long time work colleague and centuries old associate of the De Clermont family, Miriam. The book highlights the stark differences on their experiences of becoming vampires, how Marcus was turned without knowing all the facts and ignorant of what being a vampire involved or even meant, and who was practically abandoned by his sire Matthew shortly after his rebirth as a vampire and who was left with and passed around various members of the De Clermont family who taught him what being a vampire was all about,  and his struggles at being a vampire within the powerful patriarchal De Clermont family, compared to Phoebe whose experience was totally the opposite and who was totally informed and almost coddled and over protected throughout.

 

This is very different from the All Souls Trilogy, that had various and many different threads and sub plots which all came together whereas this is primarily a story about a man’s search for a family to belong to, along with family loyalty, especially when there is conflict within the family when an individual’s values and beliefs collide with the rules and autocracy of the head of it.  This appears to be an ongoing theme throughout the entire series of books as the long dead head of the De Clermont family still seems to manage to cast a very long shadow despite being dead for a number of years.

 

The writing is first class and I soon fell into it and the words flowed over me and I was quickly consumed by it just as I was previously, once again I was struck by the attention to detail, and once again you are left in no doubt that the story is so obviously written by a historian as the facts of the time period covered are spot on and cleverly entwined with the fictional characters.  The period of history covered in this book is the late 1700’s and the War of American Independence and there is nothing more I can say other than it is a complete joy to read. I was left with one minor question, Marcus took the name Whitmore, now a huge thing was made in the story about a vampires name and there is an ongoing theme throughout the story where Marcus went by different aliases through his human life and there was even a moment when he was officially named by the head of the De Clermont family, I can make an educated guess as to why he chose it, using it instead of the surname De Clermont which he was given but there was no mention of where and how he chose the surname Whitmore, whether this was an oversight or a point which will be answered in a later story remains to be seen. 

 

I will admit that I was a little concerned when I started this book, because I had been so totally enraptured by the trilogy I feared that it would fall short in some way as Marcus and Phoebe were really quite minor characters in the trilogy and I wondered how a sequel (as that is essentially what it is) could be centred around two relatively minor characters, but that is the beauty of it, as you see the story of becoming and being a vampire from the perspective of characters you don’t really hold too many preconceptions about.  Plus it really is such a different story from the trilogy, as that was so complex and multi layered and had so much going on within it, by comparison this reads more like a novella, but it would be totally unfair and crass to even compare it to one considering it is over 400 pages long. In fact I feel ashamed at making that comparison but it is the only way I can think of to describe the content of the story but don’t get me wrong apart from the lingering question about Marcus’s name choice there is nothing whatsoever lacking in this book, it is comprehensive, intelligently written and very enjoyable story and one which I would thoroughly recommend.

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Thank you, that's very kind of you to say so  - and I think I kept it pretty sane sounding too!

Edited by Apple

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