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Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, Bk 2) Paperback – May 28, 2013
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Harkness delights in lining up the living dead and modern academic history. . . . This tale of a feminist Yankee in Queen Elizabeth’s court charms amid the tumult, as the gifted heroine and her groom fight for generations and another sequel to come in order to protect the magical world that’s all around us.”
Top customer reviews
Shadow of Night is one of those books that is very hard for me to review. I really enjoyed it, but there is so much to talk about with the historical details, the large cast of intriguing characters, and the overall experience that I don't want to overdo the gushing. The last time readers saw historian and witch, Diana Bishop, and her vampire husband, Matthew, they were off on a journey to 16th century England. The reason for this time travel adventure is to find a witch to help Diana learn about her unique powers and to find clues to the location of the missing manuscript, Ashmole 782.
Like with A Discovery of Witches, Diana and Matthew are the center of the book and they pretty much control the success of the story. Thankfully, both of them are interesting characters who are a great combination of likable and flawed. They each have their own journeys to complete and do so with a unique spin. I will admit that I had a few issues with Matthew's overbearing nature and Diana's recklessness, but these instances were rare and they did always learn from their mistakes. The romance (while not the main storyline) is interesting and fun. These two may have declared their love for each other in the first book, but it becomes obvious that their relationship is still new and continues to grow.
Most of the book takes place in the 16th century which is a fun difference than the first book. Readers get to meet a ton of historical figures and see them interact with Diana and Matthew. Some of my particular favorites were Christopher Marlowe, Edward Kelly, Emperor Rudolf II, Mary Sidney, and, of course, Queen Elizabeth I. Diana and Matthew travel from England to his father's keep in France and even to the Holy Roman Empire. I am a history geek so this was an absolute blast for me. I also enjoyed the introduction of Matthew's nephew, Gallowglass, and that we finally got to meet Matthew's father, Philippe. Some of the book does take place in the present-day with Ysabeau, Marcus, and others finding hints of the time travel in the current time which was interesting.
As I mentioned, there is a lot going on in this book and I don't want to give much more to avoid major spoilers. I will say that it takes some time to get used to the writing style and readers do have to go through quite a bit of detail, but the story is so well-crafted that it is worth the time and effort. I also will say that this would not make a good stand-alone story due to the worldbuilding and character development. I was impressed though with how easy it was to slip back into the series after going more than a year between books. I highly recommend this series and can't wait to see how it ends with The Book of Life which was just released this month.
Seriously, this is really good. And it took me two days to read as it is so long.
It is almost with regret that I now turn to read the third book in the trilogy. I really don't want this to end.
Save your time and energy and skip directly to the third book to determine how the series ends.