All Souls Trilogy / by Madeleine

Today marks the first day in September and the official start of everything fall! (And yes, I realize fall doesn't actually start until the 23rd, but September is just not the name for a summer month, if you ask me.) Fall is my favorite season for a number a reasons, the first (and most important) being that it's my birthday season. Aside from that, I love fall because it's the time for hot lattes, cool, crisp air, that back-to-school feeling, and of course, everything pumpkin-flavored. To me, fall always feels like a new beginning. With all the excitement concerning fall activities like apple picking and going to the pumpkin patch comes the building anticipation of one of my favorite holidays: Halloween. My little town was established in the early 17th century, and with its history comes lots of ghost stories, old cemeteries, and local lore. (Not to mention that we are right next door to Salem, which has so much history concerning witchcraft.)  I love reading spooky stories, so when fall arrives each year I often gravitate towards books that have a little bit of that Halloween-feel to them. That brings me to my latest series obsession: the All Souls Trilogy.

I first stumbled upon this series last fall and read the first two, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, in quick succession. I definitely preferred the second book to the first, I think because the second book allowed the characters to develop further, but the first book laid the foundation for such a captivating story, and looking back I appreciate it more because I know how complex the plot was meant to be in the next two books. I was counting down the days until the final installment was released this summer, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I got so caught up in The Book of Life, I couldn't pick up another book for days after finishing it.

It's one of those series that I wish could go on forever (ahem, Harry Potter) but I plan on rereading it again soon so that I can fall in love with it all over again. You can bet that it will make the cut for my list of the best books of 2014 (the first two already made honorable mention on last year's list) and I will definitely be recommending it to friends who share my love of fantasy. I almost want to go so far to say that it's a good pick for grown-ups who love Harry Potter or Lev Grossman's The Magicians series (of which I've only read the first but plan on picking up the next two soon). If you're looking for a story that has magic, daemons, vampires, history, and an epic love story, read the All Souls Trilogy!