Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness : Re-read review

Shadow of Night
Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book Two in the All Souls Trilogy.

I own this book.


Book Synopsis:

Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers

My Review:

It felt as if fate was against me reading this book this week.  I came down with a bug and ran a fever off and on this week, so I did not get to finish this before The Book of Life was released on Tuesday.  I soldiered on though, reading when I could and finally finished it after eight days.  I guess the up side is that I didn’t rush through and was able to notice all that went on….

Again I can not believe how much I didn’t remember.  I believe this book is more packed with action, secrets and goings on then the first book.  Many new characters were introduced and thankfully Harkness has included a list in the back so we can keep everyone straight.  She also shares with us which characters are based on real people in history.  I found this quite interesting and feel this is where the author’s day job come out to shine.  She has studied and is so familiar with the time-period in which the book is set that you can’t help but get lost in the details.   Lovers of historical fiction should really give this series a try, whether you are a paranormal fan or not.

My three favorite characters that were introduced in this book of the trilogy is Gallowglass, Philippe, and Diana’s father.  All of these men were a hoot to read about and I loved the roles they played in Diana’s life.  Having started book three, barely, I am hoping they find a way to continue to contribute to the story.

Book two was quite the emotional roller-coaster, for both Diana and Matthew.  I swear I ended quite a few chapters in tears as these two characters grew; in discovering who they are, accepting the past, and in becoming this whole person and creating a new family. There were many working against them and they faced constant danger, but they did it united…most of the time, or at least their bond ended up stronger as result of the obstacles they faced and overcame.   We learned quite a bit about Matthew’s past in book two, but I think there are probably still a few skeletons in his closet to come out in the last story.

Being this book is set in the past some of our beloved characters did not have big parts in this book.  I missed Marcus and Ysabeau.  We briefly got to see them in a couple of chapters, but they were forced to take a minor role in this book.  They were missed.  Of course this is a dangerous world they all live in, present and past, so there was loss to be had in this book.  Could not believe who it was, not sharing this major spoiler, but it came as quite a shock to me.  I’m sure it will be for Diana as well.

Well I’m off to finish The Book of Life and hope to have that review for you soon.  While I am excited to read the conclusion, I am also a little hesitant.  Mainly because I don’t want it to end.  I feel as if I am a member of the de Clermont family too, after having spent the last two weeks in this world.  I don’t think I will ever be ready to say good-bye to them.



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