Sometimes the second installment in a book trilogy can be the black sheep of the series, but Shadow of the Night is not that kind of installment. This is the second book in the "All Souls" trilogy series written by historian Deborah Harkness, with these books being set almost entirely in the 16th century and the occasional flash forward to the "present" day. This book was a little difficult for me to get into at first, with the complete change in setting and rush of new characters being thrown at me within the first 100 pages, but I imagine that's exactly how Diana Bishop felt when she left her time to venture to 1593 with Matthew Clairmont, who's already lived through this time period. I felt Diana's frustrations throughout the entire book, whether it was her modern feminist ways conflicting with 16th century sexist concepts or when she felt at conflict with Matthew during the beginnings of their marriage. But by the time the book was concluding and the couple were preparing to return to present day, I couldn't be more proud of Diana's empowering character development: gone is the magic-less damsel in distress she started out as in the first installment as she has been reborn as a fierce, powerful spell caster with her own fricken' DRAGON (I know, technically it's a firedrake). And Matthew's character evolves nicely, too; he grows to understand that Diana is not some fragile victim and truly sees her an equal in their relationship. It was a nice change from most of these vampire/fantasy series: the male protagonist honestly respects his lover instead of constantly being over-protective and aggressive. I was so eager to read the final installment that I bought the third book the same day I finished this one!
I highly recommend this series to book lovers who are die hard vampire-love-story fans but wish for a more grown-up tale.
— Kirstin Swartz
The #1 New York Times-bestselling sequel to A Discovery of Witches, book two of the All Souls Series. Look for the hit TV series “A Discovery of Witches,” streaming on AMC Plus, Sundance Now and Shudder. Season 2 premieres January 9, 2021!
Picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes reluctant witch Diana Bishop and vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782--the lost and enchanted manuscript whose mystery first pulled Diana and Matthew into one another's orbit--deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew's past tightens around them. Together they find they must embark on a very different - and vastly more dangerous - journey.
"A captivating and romantic ripping yarn,"** Shadow of Night confirms Deborah Harkness as a master storyteller, able to cast an "addictive tale of magic, mayhem and two lovers."**
About the Author
Deborah Harkness is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. A history professor at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. She lives in Los Angeles.
Visit www.deborahharkness.com and follow “Deborah Harkness” on Facebook and @DebHarkness on Twitter.
“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
“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.” —Publishers Weekly