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Shadow of Night: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) Hardcover – July 10, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Shadow of Night: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) + The Book of Life: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) + A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)
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Product Details

  • Series: All Souls Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023486
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,596 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2012: Deborah Harkness burst onto the scene with her 2011 debut A Discovery of Witches, a book that introduced legions of fans to Diana Bishop, an Oxford scholar, and Matthew Clairmont, a handsome geneticist. Diana also happened to be a witch, and Matthew a vampire—and readers couldn’t get enough of them, right up to the thrilling cliffhanger ending. Now Shadow of Night picks up where the first book leaves off, with Diana and Matthew entering Elizabethan London, where Mathew is part of the mysterious School of Night, a group that counts Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh among its members. Characterization, a great eye for detail, and a story that takes some notable twists and turns make this a great novel that will more than live up to eager fans’ expectations. It’s even better than the first. -- Chris Schluep

Review


 Praise for Shadow of Night

“A captivating and romantic ripping yarn.”
—E. L. James, “Books of the Year 2012: Authors Choose Their Favourites,” The Guardian

“The joy that Harkness, herself a historian, takes in visiting the past is evident on every page. . . . A great spell, the one that can enchant a reader and make a 600-page book fly through her fingertips, is cast. . . . Its enduring rewards are plenty.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Fans of Harkness’s 2011 debut A Discovery of Witches will be delighted. . . . Harkness delivers enough romance and excitement to keep the pages turning. Readers will devour it.”
People

“Deborah Harkness takes us places we’ve never been before. . . . Shadow of Night isn't just about wonderfully detailed descriptions of England in 1591, it's about being there. Readers time-travel as precisely and precariously as Diana and Matthew do. . . . Shadow ends as Discovery did with promises of more to come. Lucky for us.”
USA Today

“Harkness exudes her own style of magic in making the world of late 16th century England come alive. . . . Enchanting, engrossing and as impossible to put down as its predecessor, Shadow of Night is a perfect blend of fantasy, history and romance. Its single greatest flaw is, after almost 600 pages, it’s over. If you’ve already read and enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, picking up Shadow of Night is an absolute requirement. Otherwise, pick up both, and consider your reading list complete.”
—Miami Herald

“Picking up where she left off in last year’s A Discovery of Witches, Harkness proves she’s not suffering from a sophomore slump with this addictive tale of magic, mayhem and two lovers.”
Chicago Tribune

“Rich, period fun, particularly delightful in its witty characterization of historical immortals . . . Shadow ramps up the supernatural suspense.”
—New York Daily News

“This novel is as much a love story about a bygone era as it is about Matthew and Diana. It overflows with a colorful cast of characters, many of whom Harkness has plucked straight from the history books, and Harkness renders the late 1500s in exquisite detail. . . . The writing is so rich, the characters so compelling . . . and best of all, Harkness manages to execute with aplomb the act of answering old questions while posing new ones that will intensify anticipation for the final installment. Readers who have been counting down the days, take heart: The wait was most assuredly worth it.”
—BookPage


More About the Author

Deborah Harkness is a professor of history at the University of Southern California. She has received Fullbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. She also writes an award-winning wine blog.

Customer Reviews

This book is very well written and I really enjoyed the development of the characters.
Erinn Tobin
Highly recommend this book after you've read and fallen in love with the A Discovery of Witches.
HM
The details of too much history bogs the story a little in the first half of this book.
loree lytle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

512 of 556 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Jade on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Shadow of Night picks up a second after A Discovery of Witches ends. We join Matthew and Diana in their time jump to the 1500s where their goals are to 1) find a witch to train Diana and 2) find the mysterious Ashmole 782. But instead of doing this and picking up where the story left off, the author gets lost in history instead and the story disappears.

Within a few pages the reader is instantly thrown into a crowded and overwhelming sea full of famous literary characters and influential historical figures. In the very first chapter you meet famed playwrights and poets and others who have little to no purpose in the story. As much as it pains me to admit it, this book started out surprisingly dry and dull. I actually had to force myself through it. I rushed through the first book in the trilogy since I loved it so much, but not this one. Sadly, 100 pages into Shadow of Night and the story had yet to move forward. Matthew and Diana hadn't even come close to accomplishing what they meant to do when they went back in time. All they had done at this point is focused on Matthew's affairs during his life in the 1500s. This is when I understood why the book is 600 pages.

Now, does that make this a bad book? No. Harkness is absolutely brilliant and her knowledge of history is highly impressive. There were a handful of interesting scenes and moments in the book, however, they had nothing to do with the main story. They were just written and plopped into a spot in the book with no point or purpose. They dragged the book down, dragged it very very far down. I stopped reading many times because I lost focus. Had those pages been removed, this book wouldn't be 600 pages, but half of that, and it would have been much better.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy history, but not like this.
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238 of 269 people found the following review helpful By Booklover Mom on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every so often, a book comes along. It's everything you imagine a great fiction to be. It evokes the tremendous joy of just being able to read, to immerse yourself in a book so fully, to jump into a journey where every sense in your body is heightened and your mind stimulated. Then the last page is turned, you sigh with sadness since you know you will not be able to find another book like this for a long, long time.

Shadow of Night is such a book.

I wrote these in my review of the first book of the trilogy:

"The author has in depth knowledge not only about history, but also science, architecture, Europe, culinary delights and wine... The book immediately reminded me of "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova, since both story took me to places in Europe that I've never been and historical periods that were so enlightening.....The story will be a delight for people who actually enjoy accurate scientific, historical, culinary and geographical information. The author has a wealth of knowledge and a unique style of writing and she's willing to share."

The review still rings true for the second installment, and more so. For readers who disliked the first installment of the series due to the slowness of the beginning, you'll be delighted to hear that this book started right at the part where the first book dropped off, and is a thrill ride all the way to the end. You can also find satisfactory answers to most, if not all the burning questions that you had after reading A Discovery of Witches. I know it's a gruesome wait for the second book in the series, but the wait is well worth it...this book surpassed everything I had imagined it to be.
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309 of 359 people found the following review helpful By Picky Pickle on July 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I reread A Discovery of WItches to refresh my memory. Matthew and Diana are going back in time to find Ashmole 782 and find someone to teach Diana to better understand and control her power. Got it. Imagine my surprise when I started Shadow of Night and neither of those things happened until page 280, except in snippets that felt like tossaways to help the reader remember why the characters had traveled back to Elizabethan England in the first place. Oh, they weren't there to meet historical figures and notice every aspect of daily life and describe it in excruciating detail? Somebody should have told Deborah Harkness that. Like maybe her editor.
My biggest problem with this book, however, was that I didn't like the characters anymore. It turns out Matthew is not an intelligent, urbane scientist who is every woman's dream guy. Nope. He's actually an impulsive, indecisive screw-up with serious anger issues (who has somehow managed to be friends with many major historical figures of the time, be an indispensable adviser to the queen, AND a member of The Congregation). Actual quote from the book: "Matthew was taking charge, which meant that things were about to take their usual turn for the worse." Page 295. I rest my case. He also suffers from an inability to let go of events that happened over a thousand years ago. But one conversation with Diana and poof! Problem solved. Spare me.
Diana has become this meek, whiny airhead who is totally focused on fashion and minutia about running a household. And propping up her incapable husband, of course. Her major magical accomplishments in the first half of the book are making a quince shrivel and seeing colored lights in the corners.
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