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Shadow of Night: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) Hardcover – July 10, 2012
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“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.”
Praise for A Discovery of Witches:
“A wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter or Twilight. . . . An irresistible tale of wizardry, science and forbidden love.”
“Romantic, erudite, and suspenseful . . . Harkness attends to every scholarly and emotional detail with whimsy, sensuality, and humor.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“A thoroughly grown-up novel packed with gorgeous historical detail and a gutsy, brainy heroine to match. . . . Harkness writes with thrilling gusto about the magical world.”
—Karen Valby, Entertainment Weekly
“Harkness conjures up a scintillating paranormal story. . . . Discover why everyone’s talking about this magical book.”
“Delightfully well-crafted and enchantingly imaginative . . . It has some of the same ineluctable atmosphere that made Anne Rice’s vampire books such a popular success.”
“A debut novel with a big supernatural canvas . . . Its ambitions are world-sized, ranging across history and zeroing in on DNA, human and otherwordly. Age-old tensions between science and magic and between evolution and alchemy erupt as Diana seeks to unlock the secrets of Ashmole 782.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Harkness, an eloquent writer, conjures this world of witches with Ivy League degrees and supernatural creatures completely—and believably—while maintaining a sense of wonder. . . . A Discovery of Witches is that rare historical novel that manages to be as intelligent as it is romantic. And it is supernatural fiction that those of us who usually prefer to stay grounded in reality can get caught up in. Pardon the pun, but Witches is truly spellbinding.”
—San Antonio News-Express
“Readers who thrilled to Elizabeth Kostova’s 2005 blockbuster, The Historian, will note the parallels, but A Discovery of Witches is a modern Romeo and Juliet story, with older, wiser lovers. Blood will flow when a witch and a vampire fall for each other. Author Deborah Harkness, a UCLA history professor, brings vast knowledge and research to the page.”
“Harkness works her own form of literary alchemy by deftly blending fantasy, romance, history, and horror into one completely bewitching book.”
“A Discovery of Witches becomes increasingly charming as it goes along. . . . A shrewdly written romp and a satisfying snow-day read for those of us who heartily enjoyed the likes of Anne Rice and Marion Zimmer Bradley. By the book’s rousing end . . . I was impatient for the sequel.”
“A captivating tale that will ensnare the heart and imagination of even the most skeptical reader. This fantastic first novel will leave you anxious for the next installment, and sad to leave the remarkable world Harkness has created. Simply put, A Discovery of Witches is literary magic at its most potent.”
—Stephanie Harrison, BookPage
“Set in our contemporary world with a magical twist, this sparkling debut by a history professor features a large cast of fascinating characters, and readers will find themselves invested in Diana’s success at unlocking the secrets of the manuscript. . . . Harkness is an author to watch.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Harkness creates a compelling and sweeping tale that moves from Oxford to Paris to upstate New York and into both Diana and Matthew’s complex families and histories. All her characters are fully fleshed and unique.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Harkness brings this world to vibrant life and makes the most of the growing popularity of gothic adventure with an ending that keeps the Old Lodge door wide open.”
“A Discovery of Witches is a strange and wonderful novel of forbidden love and ancient spells that turns every preconception about magic on its head. Deborah Harkness has written one of the most exciting novels I’ve read in years. . . . I fell in love with it from the very first page.” —Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology
“Deborah Harkness’s novel is a brilliant synthesis of magic and history. A gripping story of dangerous passion, intellectual intrigue, and fantastical beings.” —Ivy Pochoda, author of The Art of Disappearing
“A fleet-footed novel set in a vivid otherworld, richly peppered with scholarly tidbits. Huge fun—with serious underpinnings of history.” —Jane Borodale, author of The Book of Fires
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great story line following book 1. Makes history come alive.Published 3 hours ago by nancy c deehan
Great book, I've read it twice. The entire series it's great. Grabs your interest and you can't put it down. Make sure you don't have anything to do when you pick up this book. Read morePublished 16 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Awful. It just dragged on and on. I really tried to stay with this book, but I kept falling asleep.Published 4 days ago by KindleFL
Is there a 2.5 stars? I should have stopped at the 1st book. I ended up reading all 3. I thought they would get better. Read morePublished 7 days ago by chefdana
Loved the Book. The detail and descriptions of the characters and really give you a picture of them. The story is very well written and easy to follow. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Sarah Babbitt
I thought this was a great book! I really enjoyed reading it. I thought the characters and plot were very well written. Once I got started it was hard to put the book down. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Mary