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Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness: A Review

Time's Convert

Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the original series, so I knew I would enjoy this extension of the story. It is pretty important to read the All Souls Trilogy before this book. There are a lot of references to characters and major plot points. So, fair warning before you read this book.

The main story follows two of the supporting characters from the trilogy, Phoebe and Marcus. There is also a subplot which follows the two main characters from the trilogy, Matthew and Diana. Phoebe and Marcus are mates. Phoebe is a human that is transitioning to a vampire in this book. Marcus became a vampire during the Revolutionary War. The book mainly follows these two transitions.

What I loved most about this book was the historical fiction aspect. In telling the story of Marcus, the author recounts parts of the Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the yellow fever outbreak in Philidelphia, as well as what it was like during that time in places like London and New Orleans. It was absolutely fascinating. This author does the interweaving of historical figures like Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin with the fictional vampires and witches so well. It actually prompted me to look up some of these events since I had never heard of them before (primarily the yellow fever outbreak).

There was a major familial theme throughout the book. What makes a family and what is your responsibility to the family you choose or is chosen for you? How should we treat our children? In the acknowledgments, the author mentions her father who passed away in 2015. I can see how her relationship with her father heavily impacted a lot of the relationships in this book. Especially with Marcus who came from an abusive home as a human and spent a lot of time searching for a true father.

There is profanity in this book. The “F” word is used a few times. There is also a good bit of explicit sexual content. When vampires are transitioning from humans, they go through an “adolescent” stage which makes them have a lot of hormones. This led to sexual fantasies, some dirty conversations, and a sex scene. There is also a time when Marcus is being trained as an aristocrat that they compare handling a sword with masturbation.
There is also some violence in the book, although it spans the time of both the French Revolution and the Revolutionary War so there is bound to be some loss. I didn’t feel it was very graphic or explicit, though. They even include Dr. Guillotin in the story who proposed the guillotine as a new form of capital punishment (used for Marie Antoinette – not a spoiler, just history).

I really enjoyed this series. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes a bit of historical fiction with their paranormal stories. I would caution with the above caveats about the content, but it’s definitely worth a read.

January TBR

For those of you not familiar with the bookish vocabulary, TBR stands for To Be Read. Last year I read 40 books, much to my own surprise. This year, I have a goal to read 44 books. So, for my TBR each month, I plan to try to read four books, so that will give me a month margin of error.

Of course, being who I am, I love to categorize and label, so I thought I might try to do that with me TBR. I want to read a classic, an adult fiction, an young adult fiction/middle grade, and a nonfiction book. I have a lot of books on my shelf that I haven’t read yet, so I’m hoping to read one from each category.

This month, here are my hopeful books I will read:

The Bell Jar by Silvia Plath. I have had this book since college. I’ve tried to pick it up and read it twice but something has always come up to pull me away. I’m hoping third time’s the charm.

It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst. I love her work. I got this book as soon as it came out last year. I’ve already begun it, and it is SO good so far.

Devian by Shanna Bosarge. This was an impulse buy at the end of last year. The author was selling her book at a farmer’s market. There is a lot of world-building and people who can control the elements. I’m excited to jump in.

Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness. Her All Souls trilogy is one of my favorites. This book is a continuation of the story more than a sequel. I have already read a few pages into the story and I’m loving it.

So those are the four main books I am reading this month. Of course, that didn’t stop me from going to the library last week and picking up a few more books that piqued my interest. But we shall see how fast I get through these four first.

What are some books you are reading this month?