Time’s Convert: Time’s Confusion

Time’s Convert is a stand-alone novel in the world of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy. The story weaves fiction with historical facts, and fantasy with historical fiction. Harkness’ cast of characters is back, but the focus is now on Phoebe and Marcus as they embark on a journey of changes together.  

The novel focuses on the events of revolution, primarily the American and French revolutions. Marcus is the idealist who shapes the stories. We see the American revolution through his young human eyes and the French revolution as a young vampire conflicted by radical friends and aristocratic new family.  

“No act of creation has ever been painless,” she continued. Miracles should leave a mark so that we can remember how precious they are.

Time’s Convert

If you´re a fan of Diana and Mathew from the original series you´ll get to dip into their present. The changes of Phoebe and Marcus are a backdrop for the changes that Diana is also facing with her young family.  

The Plot

The novel starts with Phoebe´s transformation from human to vampire. This metamorphosis triggers Marcus´s memories of his own human childhood and his subsequent transformation into a vampire in the de Clairmont family. At the same time, Diana is struggling with her young twins and the unpredictable power they are starting to show.  

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

time’s Convert

The story begins in the third person when following Phoebe´s struggles as a new vampire and Marcus´s past memories. When visiting the present and following Diana´s storyline it changes back into her normal first person. I didn´t find this narrative style too confusing to follow as each storyline was quite separate from the other.  

The Review

I loved the All Souls trilogy. It mixes two of my favourite genres together and the characters are interesting. I was super excited when I discovered this extra story, especially as I really enjoyed the story of Marcus and Phoebe in the recent TV series.  

I wanted to love this, but the multiple storylines complicated each other. If they were two separate stories I believe it would have worked better. One could have focused on Phoebe and Marcus and the other on Diana and her family dramas.  

I found Phoebe´s storyline especially beautiful with lots of emotive prose and description. Her struggles as a young vampire are poetic, as she learns her new beautiful world and the complications of feeding and controlling her emotions and new strength.  

Phoebe’s body exploded in pain and yearning: for what was lost, for what was to come, for all that she would never be, and for everything that she would become.

Time’s Convert

Marcus´s storyline is told through two interesting time periods and revolutions. There are definitely some interesting moments, and I especially enjoyed his introduction to his strange vampire family. However, his meeting and subsequent transformation to a vampire by Mathew seemed rushed and didn´t adequately explain the relationship between them.  

Summary

This story was a nice revisit to characters that I love from the All Souls trilogy. Phoebe´s transformation from human to vampire was fascinating, especially learning of the intricacies of the vampire families and power structures. However, some of the storylines lacked depth due to how many there were and the focus was too fractured.

— Bliss
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Hi, I'm Bliss, the reader and writer behind Books For Bliss. Discover book reviews, lists for your next great read, or a story to make you feel great. It's all right at your finger tips; happiness on a page. Read More

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